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Washington County's unemployment rate rose to 8.7 in June

July 27, 2012|By LAUREN KIRKWOOD | lauren.kirkwood@herald-mail.com

Washington County’s unemployment rate rose slightly in June, moving to 8.7 percent from May’s revised 8.5 percent, according to figures released Friday by the Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation.

The May rate was revised downward from the 8.6 percent originally listed in the report for May.

A year ago, in June 2011, the jobless rate was 10.3 percent.

The number of unemployed peopele in Washington County rose by 161 to 6,062 from May to June, and the number of people employed rose by 333 to 63,618, the report showed.

In Hagerstown, the unemployment rate for June was 10.3 percent, compared to 10.1 percent in May. The rate has increased steadily since April, when it was 9.7 percent.

The Hagerstown labor force, or the combined number of people working or seeking work, increased by 163 to 19,322 from May to June, and the number of employed people rose by 91 to 17,323. The number of jobless also rose slightly, from 1,927 in May to 1,999 in June.

As a way to improve economic development, the state of Maryland recently approved the expansion of enterprise zones in Hagerstown and Washington County, which should retain “hundreds of jobs while providing incentives for employers to create new jobs in the identified areas,” according to a press release from the Washington County Board of County Commissioners.

Washington County’s unemployment rate did not rise as much as that of Maryland, the release said. The statewide nonseasonally-adjusted rate rose from 6.6 percent in May to 7.2 percent in June, and there were 20,723 more unemployed people in Maryland in June.

Nationwide, the unemployment rate remained the same at 8.2 percent, and the number of unemployed people, 12.7 million, was relatively unchanged.

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