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Unemployment rate stays at 3.5 percent

January 02, 1999|By JULIE E. GREENE

Washington County's unemployment rate was unchanged from October to November, 3.5 percent, according to estimates from the Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation.

The number of employed residents in the county increased, as did the number of people entering the work force in November, keeping the jobless rate the same, said Shanon Wolf, manager of the local unemployment office.

More people entered the labor force because there were more retail jobs available as Christmas sales began, Wolf said.

The county's civilian labor force increased from 71,681 people in October to 72,230 people in November, while the number of employed jumped from 69,196 to 69,715 during that time period.

Frederick County's unemployment rate increased slightly from 2.3 percent in October to 2.5 percent in November, according to the state labor department.

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Statewide, the unemployment rate rose from 4 percent in October to 4.2 percent in November.

"It is a positive indicator of the state's economy that employment levels grew to a record high while the labor force also expanded, preventing the unemployment rate from increasing significantly," said Gov. Parris N. Glendening in a prepared statement. Employment reached a record high for any November in state history, with 2,683,448 people employed.

"Additionally, the state's unemployment rate is more than half of a percentage point lower than it was a year ago," Glendening said. The state's unemployment rate in November 1997 was 4.8 percent.

Nationally, the jobless rate dipped from 4.2 percent in October to 4.1 percent in November.

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