The number of workers seeking state job assistance more than doubledin Anne Arundel County this winter, compared to the same period in 1990, the state Department of Economic and Employment Development reported last week.
DEED's latest figures show that during the first week of February, 5,763 workers filed claims for unemployment benefits, compared with 2,792 during the same week in 1990.
"We've seen a lot of activity because of what is happening with the economy," said Jane Howard, DEED spokeswoman. "It's expected to continue a little longer."
Statewide, the number of unemployment claims jumped from 41,422 during the first week of February last year to74,303 this year.
Because of the volume of requests, the state paid $800,000 more for county claims than it did at the same time in 1990 and about $8.2 million more statewide.
By February, when the county's unemployment rate rose to
5.2 percent, the Maryland Job Service listed a record 60,689 applicants, including 4,980 at the Glen Burnie office and, as of December 1990, 5,033 at the Annapolis office.That compares with 50,133 applicants statewide in February 1990, 8,117 of them in Arundel.
The service tests and counsels workers and keeps a computer list of statewide jobs filed by employers. Nearly a quarter of this year's county applicants sought professional, technical or managerial jobs.
Between July and December, the service had placed 26,823 workers, including 1,614 county applicants.
Seven county companies notified DEED of layoffs that dislocated 650 workers last year, the state office reports.
Companies must alert the stateof layoffs only if 100 or more workers lose their jobs or if the company plans to shut down.
As layoffs increased and jobs became scarce, DEED's local offices, including those in Glen Burnie and Annapolis, brought in more administrative workers from the central office, hired more clerks, opened the offices earlier, added job bank computersand worked more closely with temporary employment agencies.
Localoffices also have gone to businesses to take unemployment claims inbulk, sponsored job fairs, recruited youth for summer employment andscheduled seminars in job search techniques.
To help dislocated workers, the U.S. Department of Labor gave the state $2.4 million in discretionary money and $1.5 million for the Job Training Partnership Act in 1990.
DEED has funneled the grants into programs that prepare dislocated workers for jobs in their current fields or train them for new jobs.