Washington County Maryland Announces Another Decrease in Unemployment

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County’s unemployment rate continues downward trend.

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The Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation(DLLR) announced another decrease to Washington County’s unemployment rates for March 2013. The announced 8.1 percent unemployment rate is a 0.7 percent decrease and comes on the heels of a 0.6 percent February decrease. The decrease follows Maryland data trends which also revealed a 0.7 percent decrease. In months prior, the County jumped three spots in the rankings – from 20th to 17th – and this remained unchanged.

Currently, Washington County’s average unemployment rate is at a four-year low of 8.6 percent according to data through December 2012; and two recent decisions by the County Commissioners have played a vital role in decreasing this rate and fostering economic growth.

During the March 5, 2013, Board meeting, the Commissioners extended the current residential stimulus plan until the end of September. Additionally, the maximum number of homes per builder was increased by 10 units from 30 per builder to 40. The purpose of this action was to stimulate residential construction and the jobs that accompany homebuilding. As a result of the stimulus, the County has collected over $589,000 in incremental revenue.

The second decision was the approval of amendments to the Building Excise Tax Ordinance. After a public hearing held on March 26, 2013, at which there was overwhelming support for amending the Building Excise Tax Ordinance, the Board approved by unanimous vote to:

•Lower the tax on residential construction from $3 a square foot to $1 a square foot.
•Lower the tax on nonresidential construction from $3 a square foot to $1 a square foot on the first 15,000 square feet, and $3 a square foot thereafter.

Since the March 26, 2013, amendments went into effect, 31 permits have been filed – of which 27 were small residential contractors.

Maryland’s unemployment rate stands at 6.6 percent, 0.9 percent below the national average of 7.5 percent according to the United States Department of Labor Bureau of Labor statistics.

For more information regarding Washington County workforce and employment data, please contact Washington County Public Relations and Community Affairs at publicaffairs(at)washco-md(dot)net or 240-313-2380.


About Washington County, Maryland Government
Washington County, Maryland Government strives to fulfill its duty to the citizens of Washington County with regard to operational efficiency, fiscal responsibility, and responsiveness to the needs of the community. This vision is used to ably assist the Board of County Commissioners of Washington County in achieving goals for moving the County forward as present needs and future plans are addressed.

According to the Maryland Department of Legislative Services, the Washington County General Fund has one of the lowest costs per capita for services provided of all 23 counties and Baltimore City. This is attributed to the efficiency, staffing levels, and cost containment exhibited in Washington County Government operations. Visit http://www.washco-md.net for more information.

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James Jenkins
Washington County Maryland
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