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County jobless rate holds steady

August 27, 2004|by JULIE E. GREENE

julieg@herald-mail.com

Washington County's unemployment rate remained at 3.8 percent from June to July, according to preliminary estimates released Thursday by the Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation.

The number of county residents employed during the survey in July was 69,095.

That's a decrease of 662 employed people compared with the June survey.

The main reason for the decrease in employment rolls was short-term layoffs caused by manufacturers shutting down for a summer break, Western Maryland Job Service Director Shanon Wolf said.

Those workers are not required to look for work during the brief shutdown, Wolf said.

The shutdowns also affected the civilian labor force numbers.

The county's civilian labor force decreased from 72,502 people in June to 71,822 people in July, according to the labor department.

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The civilian labor force consists of county residents who are working or are looking for work, Wolf said. The number is determined using factors such as unemployment insurance claims and a household survey.

The number of unemployed county residents decreased by 18 people to 2,727 people in July, according to the labor department.

The jobless rate in Frederick County, Md., decreased from 2.9 percent in June to 2.7 percent in July.

Statewide, the unemployment rate remained at 4.2 percent in July.

Nationally, July's jobless rate was 5.7 percent compared with 5.8 percent in June.

The county, state and national unemployment rates noted above are not seasonally adjusted. That means they include changes in employment that are seasonal such as summer jobs, said Liz Williams, spokeswoman for the state labor department.

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