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Jobless rate jumps in October

December 05, 1997

By GUY FLETCHER

Staff Writer

Unemployment in Washington County increased slightly during October, but at 4.2 percent still remained behind a declining statewide average, according to data released Friday.

The county's jobless rate increase was 0.02 percent over September's rate, according to estimates from the Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation.

Unemployment in Frederick County also posted a slight increase, from 3.1 percent to 3.2 percent.

Meanwhile, the state's unemployment rate fell from 4.7 percent to 4.5 percent during the same period.

"This news is further evidence that our economic development programs are working and our state is moving in the right direction," Gov. Parris N. Glendening said in a statement.

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The Washington County and state jobless rates are lower than the national rate, which increased from 4.4 percent in September to 4.7 percent in October.

Unemployment in the three-county Western Maryland region increased from 5.8 percent to 5.9 percent. But unemployment decreased slightly in the Baltimore area and stayed the same in the Washington, D.C., area.

Marco Merrick, spokesman for the Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation, said the changes reflect seasonal moves in employment and the work force. For example, the Baltimore-area jobless rate fell slightly not because more people are working, but because the work force decreased.

"There's really nothing spectacular about the report," Merrick said.

In Washington County the number of unemployed workers increased from 2,814 to 2,868. Employment decreased from 68,176 to 66,009. The work force decreased from 70,990 to 68,877.

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