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Washington County jobless rate climbed to 10.5 percent in June

July 24, 2009|By MARLO BARNHART

WASHINGTON COUNTY -- Washington County's unemployment rate in June rose to 10.5 percent, according to state figures released Friday.

That figure matched the county's previous high rate this year, recorded in March. It is nearly twice the June 2008 jobless rate of 5.6 percent, according to figures from the Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing & Regulation (DLLR).

June marked the third time in four months that Washington County's unemployment rate topped 10 percent, and the rate was a slight increase over the May adjusted rate of 10.3 percent.

The county's unemployment rate was higher than both the Maryland and national jobless rates.

Maryland's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in June was 7.5 percent, according to DLLR.

Nationwide, the jobless rate for June was 9.5 percent, up from 9.4 percent in March, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

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The Maryland Division of Labor, Licensing and Regulation reported that in June, 7,206 people in Washington County were unemployed out of a total labor force of 68,898. In May, there were 6,985 unemployed out of a total labor force of 68,103, according to the DLLR.

"There were no recent announced layoffs in June, but still it (the unemployment rate) is at such a high level that it's a concern," said Robin Ferree, deputy director of the Hagerstown-Washington County Economic Development Commission.

Ferree said that what happens with businesses in Pennsylvania and West Virginia -- particularly those in the business of construction/contracting -- has a bearing on Washington County employment figures because county residents work in those states.

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