Washington County’s unemployment rate for November was 9.8 percent, an increase from October’s rate of 9.4 percent, according to figures released by the Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation.
In Washington County, 6,466 members of the labor force were without jobs in November, the state website said. The labor force consisted of 65,883 people.
Robin L. Ferree, deputy director of the Hagerstown-Washington County Economic Development Commission, said he believed part of the reason the unemployment rate increased in November was because 60 people were laid off at Redland Brick in Williamsport.
“That might have been part of the data,” he said. “That’s the only thing were are aware of as far as loss of jobs.”
Ferree said unemployment figures tend to rise in the winter because construction jobs are more scarce.
“We start seeing an increase in the spring when construction picks up, but that’s been disappointing as of late,” Ferree said.
He said the leisure and hospitality industry also tend to take a hit when tourism decreases during the colder months.
Washington County’s unemployment rate typically follows the national unemployment rate, Ferree said.
The National unemployment rate also was 9.8 percent in November, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics.
Ferree said he was hopeful that the county’s unemployment rate would decrease with the national one.
“We’re starting to see a positive increase in jobs on the national level,” he said. “That should be reflected in our data.”
Statewide, Washington County’s unemployment rate in November was exceeded only by Worcester County, at 15 percent, Dorchester County, at 10.6 percent, and Somerset County, at 10.2 percent, statistics show.
Washington County’s unemployment rate was 2.4 percent above the statewide average of 7.4 percent.