Unemployment rate continues decline

October 31, 1997


Staff Writer

Good weather has meant good things for Washington County's unemployment rate, which continued to decline in September, while the state's jobless rate rose, officials said Friday.

The county's jobless rate dipped slightly to 4 percent in September compared with 4.1 percent in August, according to estimates from the Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation.

Maryland's unemployment rate jumped from 4.4 percent in August to 4.7 percent in September, according to estimates.

The good weather has contributed to the low unemployment rate, enabling construction companies to continue outdoor operations, said Bruce Massey, unemployment insurance supervisor for the county's labor department office.


Often the jobless rate doesn't start rising until November and December when the weather turns colder and the ground hardens, Massey said.

Frederick County's unemployment rate also fell, from 3.4 percent in August to 3.1 percent in September, according to estimates.

Statewide, employers continued to cut their seasonal work forces during September, according to the department. The number of people with jobs fell by 23,395 workers to 2,652,593 workers in September.

The job increase was fueled mainly by recalls in education and transportation services, according to the department.

Despite the increase in the jobless rate statewide, state officials are encouraged the rate is lower that it was a year ago, said Eugene A. Conti Jr., department secretary.

The state's jobless rate in September, 1996, was 4.8 percent, according to the department.

Nationwide, the unemployment rate dropped slightly from 4.8 percent in August to 4.7 percent in September, according to the department.

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