Carroll unemployment rate rose to 5.7% in Nov.

January 10, 1993|By Amy L. Miller | Amy L. Miller,Staff Writer

Carroll County's unemployment rate rose sharply from 5.1 percent to 5.7 percent in November, one of the highest increases in the Baltimore metropolitan area.

Queen Anne's was the only Baltimore-area county with a larger increase, rising from 5.7 percent to 6.4 percent, state officials said Friday.

"We're seeing that Carroll County and Queen Anne's were experiencing some increase in the labor force," said Marco K. Merrick, a public information officer with the state Department of Economic and Education Development.

"For some reason, there appears there was some hiring in the area, which attracts the labor force that was not actively looking for jobs, either because of retirement or education," he said. "If people see a job opportunity, they re-enter the work force, and that causes unemployment to expand."

Theodora Stephen, manager of the Westminster DEED office, said hiring at the new Wal-Mart store in Westminster may be the reason people returned to the work force.

"That's the only company that I know of that hired a lot of people in November," she said.

The number of people seeking work in Carroll County rose from 63,648 to 63,908 in November.

Mr. Merrick also said that seasonal layoffs in construction, hotels and agriculture caused the unemployment rate to rise.

The number of people employed dropped from 60,433 in October to 60,230 in November, state officials said.

Carroll's current unemployment rate returns the county to its September level of 5.7, and is higher than the November 1991 rate of 5.6 percent.

Statewide, the unemployment rate rose in November from 6.4 percent to 6.5 percent.

Unemployment across the United States also rose from 6.3 percent to 7.0 percent.

However, state officials said the economy is still showing signs of recovery, despite the rise in unemployment. Retail stores increased their hiring at the end of November in anticipation of the Christmas rush, Mr. Merrick said.

"We did see hiring, primarily in apparel stores and such," he said. "From what we have heard from the stores, this appears to have carried through the holiday season, but we haven't gotten the December reports."

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