Washington County jobless rate jumped to 8.6% in May, reversing downward trend

June 22, 2012|By DON AINES |
  • May 2011 through May 2012
May 2011 through May 2012

After steadily dropping since January, Washington County unemployment reversed course in May, rising from April’s 8.2 percent to 8.6 percent, according to preliminary state figures released Friday.

 The April rate was revised upward from the 8 percent jobless rate in that month’s preliminary report, the Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation report said.

The number of people employed increased by more than 100 to 62,988, but the number of unemployed rose by more than 350 to 5,943, the report said.

There also was an increase of nearly 500 in the labor force — the combination of people working and seeking work — to 68,931, the report said.

May is a month when many college and high school students enter the job market as the summer approaches.

One year ago, in May 2011, the county’s jobless rate was 9.8 percent, the report said.

Montgomery and Howard counties had the lowest jobless rates in Maryland, at 5 percent each, while Dorchester and Somerset counties had the highest of all the counties at 10 percent, the report said. Baltimore City’s unemployment rate was 10.1 percent, the report said.

Hagerstown’s unemployment rate rose from 9.7 percent in Aril to 10.1 percent in May, according to the report. The report listed 17,151 people working, an increase of 34, and the number of jobless rose by 85 to 1,931.

Maryland’s unemployment rate rose slightly from April to May, with the nonseasonally-adjusted rate going from 6.5 percent to 6.7 percent, the report said.

Employment was up almost 8,000 to 2,869,608, while the number of jobless rose by more than 5,600 to 204,729, the report said.

Statewide, the labor force grew by more than 13,000 to 3,074,337, the report said.

Nationally, unemployment rose from 8.1 percent in April to 8.2 percent in May, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

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