Unemployment rises to 5.7% in Carroll

August 08, 1993|By Greg Tasker | Greg Tasker,Staff Writer

More college and high school students sought seasonal jobs in June, pushing Carroll's unemployment rate up sharply to 5.7 percent from 5.3 percent in May, Maryland Department of Economic and Employment Development officials said.

March's blizzard caused many state colleges and high schools to close for the summer later than usual, sending students to look for jobs in June instead of May, Marco K. Merrick, a DEED public relations officer, said Friday.

"What we saw during June is unusual because we expected labor force increases in May," Mr. Merrick said. "We should have had that influx in May. But because of the late closings, we've had a two-fold influx in June."

Carroll's upward unemployment rate mirrored a statewide trend.

Maryland's overall unemployment increased to 6.8 percent in June from 6 percent in May, DEED officials said.

The unemployment rate in metropolitan Baltimore -- including Baltimore City, Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Howard, Harford and Queen Anne's counties -- rose to 8 percent in June from 7 percent in May.

"There are other factors causing the unemployment rate to rise," Mr. Merrick said. "Even with the expansion of the labor force, we're seeing fewer summer jobs. The economy is slow, and there's not a great deal of hiring."

Patrick Arnold, director of labor market analysis for DEED, said that although Carroll's unemployment rate increased, the rise was tempered by the low number of layoffs in the county. He said the employment situation in Carroll was "relatively strong."

Mr. Arnold said the county's employment picture benefited by a major discounter's hiring. He declined to name the discounter.

He also said small retailers reported brisk business.

The civilian labor force -- the number of Carroll County residents who are working, added to the number of people actively looking for work -- increased to 66,617 in June from 65,976 in May.

The number of people unemployed in Carroll County increased to 3,821 in June from 3,489 in May, according to the DEED figures.

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