Jobless rate inches higher
The jobless rate in Washington County rose slightly in December to 4.4 percent, according to the state officials.
The revised unemployment rate for November was 4.3 percent.
Marco Merrick of the Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation attributed the slight increase in county unemployment to temporary shutdowns and seasonal reductions in manufacturing.
In Western Maryland as a whole, the jobless rate in December rose from 6.3 to 6.9 percent for basically the same reasons, Merrick said.
The other two counties grouped in the Western Maryland region posted dramatically higher jobless rates for December than did Washington County.