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Jobless rate rises

August 02, 2005|by DANIEL J. SERNOVITZ

Unemployement crept higher statewide and in Washington County in June as more workers entering the labor force struggled to find summer employment, labor department officials said.

The county's labor force grew by 656 workers to 69,214, according to data recently released by the Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation, and the number of employed workers grew by 382, driving the unemployment rate up from 4 percent in May to 4.4 percent in June.

"The increase in unemployment was, in part, due to people coming into the labor force and not yet finding summer jobs," said Shanon Wolf, director of the Washington County One-Stop Job Center.

Wolf said other factors tied with seasonal unemployment, including teachers on summer break, might also have influenced the increase, though there were no large employment blocks, such as from company layoffs, reported to the department.

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Maryland's unemployment rate increased only slightly in June to 4.3 percent, up from 4.1 percent in May.

Nationally, unemployment dipped in June to 5 percent, from 5.1 percent in May, as part of a slow but steady decline since February.

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