Md. jobless rate rises to 5.6% in December

February 05, 1994|By From Staff Reports

Maryland's unemployment rate edged up from 5.5 percent to 5.6 percent in December as a surge in the number of job-seekers offset gains in total employment.

Nearly 13,000 people poured into the job market in December, bringing the state labor force to a near-record 2.65 million, according to figures released yesterday by the Department of Economic and Employment Development. Total employment increased by 9,933 to 2.51 million. It was the fourth straight month of growing employment, but it was matched by an increase of 3,000 unemployed people.

Mark Wasserman, the secretary of DEED, said it is not unusual for Maryland's unemployment to grow in December because of seasonal factors. "We remain convinced that other economic indicators continue to demonstrate a gradual improvement in the state's economy," he said.

The 5.6 unemployment rate is still an improvement over last December's 6.2 rate.

Baltimore's unemployment rate dropped from 9.5 percent to 9.3 percent, its lowest level in 2 1/2 years. For the entire metropolitan area, joblessness rose from 6.2 percent to 6.3 percent.

Statewide, December's unemployment rate ranged from 3.2 percent in Montgomery County to 16.6 in Worcester County.

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