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Jobless rate holds steady in Washington County

June 30, 2010|By ANDREW SCHOTZ
  • Washington County's unemployment rate remained just below 10 percent in May but the number of workers continued to increase, state labor statistics show.
Chad Trovinger, Graphic Artist

WASHINGTON COUNTY -- Washington County's unemployment rate remained just below 10 percent in May but the number of workers continued to increase, state labor statistics show.

The rate climbed to 11 percent in January and stayed at or above that level in February and March.

However, the rate dropped to 9.6 percent in April and stayed there in May, according to figures recently released by the Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation.

"It's looking mixed," Robin Ferree, deputy director of the Hagerstown-Washington County Economic Development Commission, said of the county's economy.

He said the core areas of manufacturing and distribution are picking up and companies are hiring, but there's not much new construction.

After seven straight months between 9 and 10 percent, the county's unemployment rate rose to 11 percent in January. It dropped to single digits again in April.

DLLR estimated the April rate at 9.5 percent, then adjusted the rate to 9.6 percent as part of the recently released May statistics.

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Figures show the number of employed people in Washington County increased from 59,084 in February to 60,131 in March. That number rose to 60,236 in April and to 60,642 in May.

The state unemployment rate was 8.2 percent in January and February, then dropped to 7.7 percent in March and 6.8 percent in April.

It was 7.0 percent in May, according to DLLR.

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