Jobless rate rises to 5.6 percent in January

March 07, 1997


Staff Writer

Washington County's jobless rate increased from 4.4 percent in December to 5.6 percent in January, according to figures released by the state Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation.

The unemployment rate for the state as a whole rose from 4.2 percent to 4.8 percent during the same period, while the national rate rose by almost a full percentage point, to 5.9 percent.

Seasonal post-holiday and weather-related layoffs were the culprit, state officials said.

"An increase in the unemployment rate is a normal trend during January," said agency Secretary Eugene A. Conti Jr. "The good news is that we maintained a record high employment level for the month, and continue to be more than a full percentage point lower than the national unemployment rate and more than a full percentage point below last year's January level."


Even with the drop in the number of employed people statewide, officials said January's employment level was the highest on level for the month.

The lowest January jobless rates in Maryland were 2.4 percent in Montgomery County and 2.8 percent in Howard County.

The highest rates were 19 percent in Worcester County, followed by 13.3 in Garrett County.

In Western Maryland, Washington County sported the lowest January jobless rate outside of Frederick, which had a rate of 4.2 percent. The Garrett rate was the highest in the region, followed by Allegany at 10.6 percent.

Allegany County posted the highest monthly increase in the Western Maryland region. Officials blamed the rise in the jobless rate there on temporary layoffs in manufacturing.

The January jobless rate for the region comprised of Washington, Garrett and Allegany counties was 8 percent.

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