The Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation (DLLR) announced a slight increase in unemployment rates in Washington County at 9.4 percent. This is a 0.5 percent increase from last month. The increase follows state data trends which also revealed a 0.5 percent increase. Despite the increase, the annual Hagerstown-Washington County Economic Development Business Industry Directory Report confirmed an increase of 448 jobs within the County based on 2012 reporting data through March 22, 2013.
As part of the annual Hagerstown-Washington County Economic Development Business Industry Directory Report, Washington County, Md., announced an increase of 448 jobs within the County based on 2012 reporting data through March 22, 2013.
Currently, Washington County Public Schools is the County’s largest employer with more than 2,985 positions. Meritus Health, Citi, the State of Maryland and First Data round out the County’s top five employers, providing more than 11,163 total jobs in the County.
In recent months both Washington County public and private sector organizations, Brook Lane, Citi, Sierra Nevada and the State of Maryland added a combined 605 jobs.
As part of a weekly business outreach initiative launched in 2012, the Washington County Board of Commissioners has visited more than 50 local businesses. During a visit to custom staircase manufacturer, Duvinage, Commissioners discovered the 118-year-old company was exploring expansion opportunities. As a result of the visit, the County was able to step in and connect Duvinage President, Robert A. Maruszewski, with possible funding sources. Among those sources was a County Commissioner approved $50,000 conditional loan. Loan requirements stipulate Duvinage must add and maintain more than 60 jobs through 2017.
To further foster economic trends and stimulate local residential construction, the Board of Commissioners reached an agreement on March 5, to extend the current residential construction stimulus plan until the end of September 2013. With this extension, the maximum number of homes per builder was increased by 10 units from 30 per builder to 40. A public hearing to consider amendments to the Excise Tax Ordinance will be held Tuesday, March 26, at 3:30 p.m.
Other economic development progress, reported from the City of Hagerstown, shows more than 7 businesses have hosted grand opening celebrations in the first quarter of 2013. Reports from 2012 revealed 12 grand openings and anniversaries throughout the year.
Washington County is currently ranked 16th against other Maryland counties according to United States Department of Labor Bureau of Labor statistics. Maryland’s unemployment rate stands at 7.2 percent 0.5 percent below the national average of 7.7 percent.