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Jobless rate up .2 percent

State officials say the county's unemployment rate increase to 3.8 percent may be attributed to routine short-term layoffs in th

State officials say the county's unemployment rate increase to 3.8 percent may be attributed to routine short-term layoffs in th

January 06, 2003|by ANDREA ROWLAND

andrear@herald-mail.com

WASHINGTON COUNTY - The unemployment rate in Washington County rose from 3.6 percent in October to 3.8 percent in November, according to preliminary estimates from the Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation.

There were 2,693 unemployed people in the county in November, compared with 2,535 jobless people in October.

The increase in the county's unemployment rate might be attributed in part to routine short-term layoffs in the manufacturing industry, said Job Service Director Shanon Wolf with the Labor Department's Hagerstown office.

"That's not unusual for this time of the year," Wolf said.

The number of employed people in Washington County decreased by 507 people to 67,981 people in November. The civilian labor force decreased by 349 people to 70,674 people.

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The jobless rate throughout Western Maryland increased from 3.8 percent in October to 4.3 percent in November. That increase also was attributed to temporary layoffs in manufacturing businesses.

Neighboring Frederick County's unemployment rate improved from 2.5 percent in October to 2.4 percent in November.

November's hiring activity was primarily in retail trade, with job gains reported at general merchandise stores, restaurants, clothing stores and home furnishings shops, according to the state labor department.

Unemployment in Frederick and Washington counties in November dropped from the same period the previous year when the unemployment rate was 3.1 percent in Frederick County and 4.3 percent in Washington County.

The increase in the county's unemployment rate reflects a state and national trend.

The jobless rate statewide went from 3.8 percent in October to 3.9 percent in November. The unemployment rate nationwide increased from 5.3 percent to 5.7 percent.

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