Feb. unemployment rose to 7.5% in Md. winter layoffs cited Manufacturing loss outpaced U.S. rate

April 04, 1992|By Liz Atwood | Liz Atwood,Maryland Department of Economic and Employment DevelopmentStaff Writer

Maryland's unemployment rate climbed to 7.5 percent in February, partly because of seasonal layoffs, according to the state Department of Economic and Employment Development.

The state's unemployment rate was 7.3 percent in January 1992 and 6.4 percent in February 1991. The rates are not adjusted for seasonal variations, as national unemployment figures are.

The unadjusted jobless rate for the nation was 8.1 percent in February.

The number of people in the Maryland work force either with jobs or looking for jobs grew by 2,500 in February, to 2.5 million. At the same time, seasonal layoffs reduced employment by 3,045, to 2.3 million. The number of people without jobs and looking for work grew 5,528, to 190,372.

The Baltimore-area jobless rate rose to 8.3 percent in February, up from 8 percent the month before. Throughout the area there were layoffs in trade, construction and manufacturing, the state economic department noted.

Unemployment rose in every jurisdiction in the Baltimore area except Carroll County, where it remained at 8.5 percent. The highest rate continued to be in Baltimore at 10.8 percent; the lowest unemployment rate was in Howard County at 5.3 percent.

In Maryland's Washington suburbs, the jobless rate grew 0.1 percentage points, to 5.2 percent. In Frederick County, the unemployment rate rose to 9.0 percent from 8.3 percent, partly because of temporary layoffs reported in manufacturing.

Worcester County had the state's highest unemployment rate, 20 percent; Montgomery County had the lowest, 3.8 percent.

In the past year, Maryland has lost nearly 11,000 manufacturing jobs, a 5.5 percent drop. In the United States as a whole, the number of manufacturing jobs declined 1.7 percent during the year.

Non-manufacturing jobs in Maryland fell by 40,000, or 2.1 percent. In the United States as a whole, the number of non-manufacturing jobs increased 0.1 percent from February 1991 to February 1992.

Maryland officials repeated past statements that unemployment is a lagging economic indicator and that other statistics show the state's economy beginning to recover from the recession.

Initial unemployment claims dropped sharply in February, indicating that the number of new layoffs has slowed. New claims for unemployment insurance fell 34 percent, from 45,766 in January to 30,383 in February.

Another positive sign was that March sales tax revenues increased nearly 3 percent, reflecting improved retail sales. Also, average hourly earnings increased from $12.37 to $12.42 because of a 13-cent increase in wages in industries making non-durable products.

Department of Economic and Employment Development spokeswoman Marilyn Corbett said employment remains strongest in health care, and recent figures show some seasonal hiring in the restaurant industry.

Maryland unemployment

.$.. .... .. .. .. .. Feb. .. .. Jan.

U.S. .. .. .. .. .. 8.1 .. .. 8.0

Maryland .. .. .. ..7.5 .. .. 7.3

Baltimore area .. ..8.3 .. .. 8.0

Baltimore .. .. .. 10.8 .. ..10.4

Anne Arundel .. .. 6.7 .. .. 6.3

Baltimore Co. .. .. 7.3 .. .. 7.0

Carroll .. .. .. .. 8.5 .. .. 8.5

Harford .. .. .. ..10.0 .. .. 9.8

Howard .. .. .. .. 5.3 .. .. 4.9

Queen Anne's .. .. 9.7 .. .. 9.2

area .. .. .. 5.2 .. .. 5.1

Calvert .. .. .. .. 8.6 .. .. 8.2

Charles .. .. .. .. 7.2 .. .. 6.4

Frederick .. .. .. 9.0 .. .. 8.3

Montgomery .. .. .. 3.8 .. .. 3.7

Prince George's .. 5.6 .. .. 5.6

Western Maryland ..11.7 .. .. 11.8

Allegany .. .. .. 13.6 .. .. 13.1

Garrett .. .. .. ..14.1 .. .. 13.6

Washington .. .. ..10.1 .. .. 10.7

Rest of state .. ..11.4 .. .. 11.3

Caroline .. .. .. .11.1 .. .. 10.3

Cecil .. .. .. .. 12.3 .. .. 13.7

Dorchester .. .. ..14.0 .. .. 12.7

Kent .. .. .. .. ..11.6 .. .. 10.9

St. Mary's .. .. .. 6.3 .. .. 6.5

Somerset .. .. .. .14.8 .. .. 14.4

Talbot .. .. .. .. .7.7 .. .. .7.5

Wicomico .. .. .. 11.2 .. .. 10.6

Worcester .. .. .. 20.0 .. .. 20.6

NOTE: Data not seasonally adjusted

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