Unemployment Rates Stable Since August, State Says

December 09, 1990|By Anne Haddad | Anne Haddad,Staff writer

Unemployment rates for Carroll County and statewide showed no change since August, and have varied little since June, show figures released Friday by the Maryland Department of Economic and Employment Development.

Carroll's unemployment rate remained at 3.3 percent in October, the last month for which figures are available. The rate was identical for September and August. The county's unemployment rate for October 1989 was 2 percent.

Although unemployment is higher this year than for the same month in 1989, it still has not gone up significantly, said Theodora A. Stephen, manager of the DEED office in Westminster.

"For October, things were good. None of the local businesses were having any kind of layoffs," Stephen said. "The rate has remained around 3 percent for so long -- for months. To the best of my knowledge, no local employers are planning major layoffs."

For October, 2,056 people in Carroll who are available and looking for work were unemployed, compared to 2,084 in September. The total civilian work force was at 63,087 in October and 63,329 in September.

Stephen said she had no idea why the work force dropped by 242 people. The civilian work force is the sum of all people who are employed and all people who are unemployed and available for work. For example, full-time college students would not be counted in the work force during the months they are in school and not looking for work.

A decline in the labor force statewide by 15,373 was caused by a seasonal decline exaggerated by a larger-than-expected number of workers leaving the labor force, said a press release issued by DEED.

Private-sector payrolls indicated seasonal layoffs during October, especially in the trade and services industries, and less business activity in construction and real estate.

The unemployment rate for the state was 4.5 percent in October, the same as for September. The Baltimore metropolitan area also remained at 4.9 percent, with no single county varying more than two-tenths of a percent from September to October.

Unemployment in Maryland's Washington-area counties also remained stable at 3.6 percent. Frederick County had the biggest change, from 4.9 percent in September to 4.7 percent in October.

"We are a bedroom community," Stephen said of Carroll's large population of commuters to Baltimore and Washington areas. "The fact that they're doing well is good for us, too."

In Western Maryland counties, the rate of unemployment rose slightly, from 6.8 percent in September to 7 percent in October.

"The point is we are holding steady in Maryland, because there has been a decline in other sections of the country," said Paul Manacher, spokesman for the DEED. "We've been holding steady at 4.5 percent for about four months."

In recent months, however, the unemployment rate has remained stable nationwide, dropping from 5.5 percent in September to 5.4 percent in October, an insignificant change, Manacher said.

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