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Washington County's unemployment rate drops

June 02, 2010|By ANDREW SCHOTZ
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WASHINGTON COUNTY -- After three straight months in double digits, Washington County's jobless rate dropped to single figures in April, according to new state figures.

This week, the Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation (DLLR) reported Washington County's unemployment rate for April at 9.5 percent. That's the lowest rate for the county since November 2009.

In January, February and March of this year, the rate was at least 11 percent.

The state of Maryland's rate dropped, too, from 7.7 percent in March to 6.9 percent in April, according to DLLR.

Washington County's decrease was tied mainly to a shrinking work force.

The number of employed people in the county remained fairly steady -- 60,131 in March and 60,169 in April.

The size of the labor force dropped about 1.6 percent.

People who don't have jobs but actively have been looking for them are considered unemployed.

Those who stop looking for jobs drop out of the work force.

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Washington County's unemployment rate rose from 7.4 percent in December 2008 to 10.3 percent three months later. It hovered around 9 and 10 percent for about a year.

The rate peaked at 11.9 percent in February of this year.

The recent Washington County drop matches what has happened overall in the Hagerstown-Martinsburg metropolitan statistical area.

For that region, the jobless rate reached 11.6 percent in February, then fell to 10.8 percent in March and 9.4 percent in April.

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