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October jobless rate declines

December 06, 1996

By JULIE E. GREENE

Staff Writer

Washington County's unemployment rate continued to fall in October to 4.1 percent, compared with 4.4 percent in September, according to estimates from the Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation.

The county's jobless rate has fallen more than a full percentage point since last year when it was 5.4 percent in October.

Maryland's unemployment rate also dropped, from 4.9 percent in September to 4.6 percent in October.

"Unemployment in Maryland not only dropped from September to October, but it is more than half of a percentage point lower than a year ago," said Gov. Parris N. Glendening in a prepared statement.

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"Seasonal employment patterns gave an expected boost to the economy. More importantly, employment gains and lower unemployment also are signaling moderate economic growth," Glendening said.

A reduction in the labor force helped lower unemployment in Western Maryland and in Washington County, officials said.

Washington County's labor force dropped from 68,804 people in September to an estimated 68,655 people in October.

The slowing down of construction work this time of year as well as some college students still returning to school helped lower the county's labor force, said Faye Gossert, acting unemployment insurance supervisor for the local office of the state's labor department.

Maryland and Washington County's jobless rates continued to remain below the nation's jobless rate, which was 4.9 percent in October.

Frederick County's unemployment rate fell slightly from 3 percent in September to 2.9 percent in October.

Statewide for October, the lowest unemployment rate was 2.5 percent in Montgomery County and the highest rate was 9.8 percent in Cecil County on the Eastern Shore.

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