Washington County's April jobless rate, 8.0%, is lowest since Dec. 2008

May 24, 2012|By DON AINES |
  • Unemployment rates in Washington County for the months April 2011 through April 2012.
By Chad Trovinger, Graphic Artist

The April unemployment rate for Washington County was the lowest it has been since December 2008, according to preliminary state figures released Thursday that show both an increase in employment and a drop in the number of people seeking work.

The jobless rate fell from 8.6 percent in March to 8 percent in April as the economy added 307 jobs to 63,104, the Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation report said.

The 8.6 percent rate for March had been revised upward from the 8.2 percent rate the state initially reported in late April.

During the month, the number of unemployed declined by 380 to 5,494, it said. However, the labor force — the combination of people employed and actively seeking jobs — declined by 73 people to 68,598, the report said.

Since April 2011, when the jobless rate was 9.5 percent, the labor force has decreased by more than 800 workers, while the number of employed people has risen by 271, the report said.


In December 2008, the jobless rate was 7.6 percent. The following month, January 2009, the rate jumped to 9.2 percent, as the recession took hold, and the number of unemployed rose by more than 1,000, the report said.

The number of people leaving the labor force was something that occurred statewide and across the country, according to state figures and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The preliminary figures showed that Maryland’s unemployment rate fell from 6.6 percent in March to 6.5 percent in April. The number of people listed an unemployed in the state fell by more than 8,000 to just under 200,000.

At the same time, the labor force fell by more than 20,000 people, and there was actually a drop of more than 12,000 in the number of people employed, which fell to 2,861,421.

The U.S. jobless rate for April was 8.1 percent. The labor bureau reported in April that the number of those counted as not being in the labor force grew by more than 400,000 to 88.4 million.

That figure has grown by approximately 2.6 million since April 2011, the bureau reported.

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