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Local unemployment drops slightly in October

December 06, 2003|by SCOTT BUTKI

The unemployment rate in Washington and Frederick counties has dropped slightly from the September rate, according to preliminary estimates released Friday by the Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation.

Washington County's jobless rate in October was 3.4 percent and Frederick County's was 2.6 percent.

The number of unemployed Washington County residents seeking a job decreased slightly from 2,627 in September to 2,460 in October. The county's civilian labor force also increased, from 70,834 people to 71,784 people, according to the estimates.

Washington County's jobless rate was 3.8 percent in October 2002.

Generally in October employers start hiring people to help with the holiday shoppers, said Shanon Wolf, job service director for the Hagerstown office of the Labor Department.

That change happens at the same time people apply for part-time retail jobs for the holiday season, she said.

Meanwhile, the weather was still good enough that industries such as construction were able to continue operating, she said.

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Statewide, the unemployment rate declined slightly from 4.1 percent in September to 4.0 percent in October.

The state rate is lower than the national rate of 5.6 percent.

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