FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Washington County’s Average Unemployment Rate Remains Steady
Since January of 2012, over 1,250 people are back to work
Hagerstown, MD (July 27, 2012) – The Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation (DLLR) just released figures for the month of June indicating the unemployment rate in Washington County increased slightly to 8.7% as compared to May’s revised rate of 8.5%. Washington County’s average unemployment rate remains at 8.7%, the lowest average rate since 2008. In addition, since January of 2012, over 1,250 people are back to work in Washington County.
Washington County’s rate did not increase as drastically as the state and national rate. The national rate is up to 8.4% from 7.9% last month and the State of Maryland rate is up to 7.2% from 6.6% last month. The rise could be due to recent high school and college graduates entering the workforce; therefore, increasing the number of people in the labor force including those who are not yet employed.
To help businesses, the State of Maryland recently approved the renewal and expansion of the City of Hagerstown/Washington County Enterprise Zone. This will help enhance economic development by retaining hundreds of jobs while providing incentives for employers to create new jobs in the identified areas. Originally established in 1992, the zone has been re-designated for an additional 10-year period and now includes more acreage.
In addition, the Board of County Commissioners, Hagerstown-Washington County Economic Development Commission (EDC) Board and staff report they have continued to make weekly existing business visits during the past several months. They remain dedicated to the continued development of business tools, like the Pad-Ready Site and High Performance Green Buildings incentive programs. To request a visit from County officials or for more information on business development programs, contact the EDC at firstname.lastname@example.org or 240-313-2280.
Change in Excise Tax Ordinance Could Help Businesses
In the coming weeks, the Board of County Commissioners will be holding a public hearing for the purpose of considering amendments to the Building Excise Tax Ordinance. The amendments proposed would change the amount of excise tax charged for non-residential "change of use" structures from $3 per square foot to $0, not including new buildings used for commercial development, for a period through June 30, 2015. If approved, businesses interested in possibly ‘reusing’ existing buildings could receive a reduction in excise tax. More information, including a public hearing date, will be announced soon.
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 cost 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 www.washco-md.net for more information.
Sarah Lankford Sprecher, Director of Public Relations & Community Affairs
Norman Bassett, Public Information Officer