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August jobless rate rises slightly

October 06, 2000

August jobless rate rises slightly



By STACEY DANZUSO / Staff Writer


Washington County's unemployment rate rose slightly in August as expected but remained below the state level.

The jobless rate increased to 2.5 percent after holding steady at 2.4 percent during June and July, according to preliminary numbers released by the state Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation Friday.

Employment reductions in August are typical because the seasonal needs of employers subside.

"It seems an inconsequential change. I'm pleased to see a relatively flat unemployment rate," said John Howard, executive director of the Washington County Economic Development Commission.

Washington County's jobless rate began climbing in May after hitting its lowest mark in at least 20 years in April at 2 percent.

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Howard said that compared with last August's 3 percent unemployment rate, levels this year continue to show "the economic vitality in the area."

"It evidences the swallowing up of available workforce in keeping with strong production gains in local businesses," he said.

An estimated 1,781 people were unemployed in August, compared with 1,648 in July.

Statewide, the unemployment rate remained unchanged at 3.4 percent, despite the usual seasonal downsizing.

"As many summer jobs came to an end, other industries expanded, hiring Marylanders and providing gainful employment," Gov. Parris N. Glendening said in a written statement.

Unemployment rates dropped or held steady in 15 of Maryland's 24 jurisdictions in August, according to state figures.

Of the nine jurisdictions where unemployment went up, Allegany County showed the largest increase - from 5.7 percent in July to 7.4 percent in August when there were temporary manufacturing layoffs.

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