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Unemployment up in Washington County for third straight July

September 02, 2008|By ANDREW SCHOTZ

WASHINGTON COUNTY -- Washington County's unemployment rate rose last month for the third straight July.

Out of a labor force of 70,175, there were 3,711 people without jobs, for an unemployment rate of 5.3 percent, according to the Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing & Regulation.

That compares to 4.7 percent last July, 4.5 percent in July 2006 and 4.3 percent in July 2005.

"Employers are being more cautious in hiring," said Suzette Snyder, the labor exchange administrator for DLLR's One-Stop Job Center in Hagerstown. "Because of the economy - they just don't know which direction it's going."

Snyder said a lot of people in the construction industry are coming to her office to get help finding jobs.

She said that sometimes happens as winter months approach, but not usually at the end of the summer.

Washington County's unemployment rate was higher in July than the statewide figure.

Maryland's unemployment rate was 4.6 percent in July, according to DLLR figures.

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That is higher than the statewide July 2007 rate of 3.9 percent.

Washington County's July jobless rate was lower than the national rate of 5.7 percent for the month.

According to an employment situation summary by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of unemployed people was 8.8 million in July and the unemployment rate was 5.7 percent last month.

Over the past 12 months, the number of unemployed people has increased by 1.6 million, and the unemployment rate has risen by 1.0 percentage point, the bureau summary said.

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