Washington County’s jobless rate dipped to 8.2 percent in March, a decrease from February’s adjusted rate of 9.3 percent, according to state figures released Friday.
It is the lowest the county rate has been since November 2011, when it also dipped to 8.2 percent. The jobless rate last year at this time was 10.2 percent.
In Washington County, 5,607 members of the labor force were without jobs in March, compared to 6,387 in February, according to the Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation’s website.
The labor force in March consisted of 68,590 people, down from 68,672 in February, according to DLLR figures.
“According to the Economic Development Commission, manufacturing firm Evolve Composites in Hancock has started production” and is continuing to hire, Sarah Lankford Sprecher, Washington County’s director of public relations and community affairs, said in a news release.
Agribusiness Misty Meadow Creamery opened its doors with six new jobs, and bakery manufacturing firm Hadley Farms recently announced it is employing 40 more people for a total work force of 120, she said.
Sprecher said permits for residential and commercial construction in the county have increased from 55 in February to 88 in March.
Despite the decrease in the unemployment rate, Washington County’s jobless figure remains above the state average of 6.7 percent. It is, however, on par with the national unemployment rate, which was 8.2 percent in March. The national rate dropped from 8.3 percent in February, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Compared with the other 22 Maryland counties and Baltimore city, Washington County’s unemployment rate was the eighth highest.
Worcester County had the state’s highest unemployment rate at 14.7 percent. Other counties with higher jobless rates that Washington County were Dorchester County, 10.8 percent; Somerset County, 10.8 percent; Baltimore city, 10 percent; Wicomico County, 8.9 percent; Caroline County, 8.7 percent; and Cecil County, 8.4 percent.
Howard County had the state’s lowest unemployment rate at 4.9 percent, the DLLR website said.
Washington County's jobless rate drops to 8.2 percent in March
Washington County Unemployment Rates (April 27, 2012)