Retired English Teacher
The usage of articles is sometimes confusing to me.
1. The unemployment rate increased rapidly last year.
2. Unemployment rate increased rapidly last year.
Which one is correct? Or are both correct? Thank you.
The reason the article is needed with your sentences is that you have chosen to use "rate", a countable noun. You can also say "Unemployment increased rapidly last year". That needs no article.
Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.