February jobless rate in county rose to 6.8%

April 03, 1994|By Anne Haddad | Anne Haddad,Sun Staff Writer

Carroll County's 6.8 percent unemployment rate for February showed a slight increase over the 6.5 percent rate for January, but nothing unexpected, a state employment official said.

"That's based on a lot of seasonal layoffs, but it isn't just one company or a few companies," Theodora Stephen, manager of the Westminster office of the state Department of Economic and Employment Development, said last week.

"February was an extremely cold month," Ms. Stephen said. Many contractors and other employers who hire seasonal workers for outdoor projects scaled back during the snow, ice and rain.

"We expect the [March] rate to come back extremely low," she said.

"We've noticed at the end of March an increase in the number of people who have gone back to work," Ms. Stephen said.

"New claims [for unemployment] are low, too."

The state unemployment rate for February was 6.4 percent.

For the Baltimore metropolitan area, including Carroll County, it was 7.4 percent.

Within the metropolitan area, the rate ranged from 10.3 percent for Baltimore City to 3.9 percent for Howard County.

Carroll's unemployment rate for February 1993 was 7.5 percent, but is not comparable to February 1994 because of a change in the way the rate is calculated, state officials have said.

Ms. Stephen said that this year's picture is not much different from last year's, although the numbers don't match.

The new calculation methods for the unemployment rate use updated Census figures and adjust for expected seasonal changes.

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