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Washington County's jobless rate fell to 8 percent

Even with the drop, the unemployment rate remained higher than state and national rates for October

November 28, 2012|By DON AINES | dona@herald-mail.com
  • Washington County added more than 400 jobs in October as its unemployment rate fell from 8.6 percent to 8 percent, the lowest since December 2008, according to preliminary figures released this week by the Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation.
By Chad Trovinger, Graphic Artist

Washington County added more than 400 jobs in October as its unemployment rate fell from 8.6 percent to 8 percent, the lowest since December 2008, according to preliminary figures released this week by the Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation.

Even with the decline, the county’s jobless rate remained higher than the state and national rates for October.

Washington County had the fifth highest unemployment rate among Maryland’s 23 counties and Baltimore City, the report said. Howard and Montgomery counties were lowest at 4.7 percent. Worcester had the highest rate, at 9.8 percent, followed by Baltimore City at 9.7 percent, the report said.

The labor force — the combination of those employed and seeking employment — was almost static, rising by just four people to 69,313, the report stated. The number of people working rose from 63,336 to 63,751, according to the state’s information.

The number of people listed as jobless fell by more than 400, going from 5,973 in September to 5,562 in October, the report said.

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The survey counts the number of people employed or unemployed, but does not indicate whether they work in Washington County or in another county or state, the department said.

In December 2008, the unemployment rate in the county was 7.6 percent, rising to 9.2 percent in January 2009 as the recession took hold, according to the report.

Among nine cities in the survey, Hagerstown had the highest jobless rate, although it fell from 10 percent in September to 9.5 percent in October, the report said. The number of people working rose by 113 to 17,359, while the number of unemployed dropped by 102 to 1,822, according to the report.

The jobless rate in Maryland fell from 6.9 percent in September to 6.7 percent in October, the report said.

The statewide report indicated 14,000 jobs were added in October, led by an estimated 4,700-job gain in Professional, Scientific and Technical Services, the report said.

There were also gains of more than 3,000 in the Professional and Business Services, Trade, Transportation, Warehousing and Utilities and Leisure and Hospitality categories, the report said.

Trade, Transportation, Warehousing and Utilities includes retail trade, which the report said led that category’s creation of 3,700 jobs.

The United States’ jobless rate in October was 7.9 percent, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

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