Maryland and Virginia's unemployment rates each rose slightly in November, 0.1 percentage point above October's jobless rates, state employment officials said yesterday.
While the Maryland jobless rate climbed to 4.5 percent, it was still the lowest rate for a November since 1973, said officials at the Maryland Department of Employment and Training.
However, the number of unemployed in Virginia, estimated in November at 5.4 percent -- or 157,000 people -- has climbed 0.6 percentage point from the 4.8 percent level -- 138,000 -- recorded in November 1984.
Early November flooding of the James River and the end of the state's agricultural growing season were two factors contributing to the increase, the Virginia employment commission reported.
Layoffs related to import competition and a rapid growth in the labor force were contributing factors, according to William F. Mezger, planning research economist at the VEC. Virginia apparently attracted more out-of-state workers in 1985 because of its relatively low unemployment rate, he said. Virginia's labor force declined slightly in November from the previous month. But it increased by 42,000 over the same period a year ago, and the nonfarm work force rose to a record level, according to Mezger.
The state's total labor force was estimated at 2.92 million in November, down 14,800 from October, mostly in self-employed and farm categories. The nonfarm employment level climbed 8,900 from October to nearly 2.48 million, which was 100,400 more than during the same period the previous year.
The services sector in Virginia lost 2,100 jobs, mainly because of lower employment in tourism-related jobs, and a drop of about 2,300 in the construction sector, primarily because of weather factors.
The Virginia trade and government sectors showed sizable gains from a month earlier. The trade sector had approximately 563,600 workers, up 8,800 from October, while the government sector had about 533,300 workers, up 5,200 from October, Mezger said.
Highland County was the jurisdiction with the highest unemployment rate last month, 22.6 percent, because many people were laid off with the completion of the Virginia Power Co.'s pumped storage project in neighboring Bath County. Manassas Park was the jurisdiction with the lowest unemployment rate, 1.9 percent.
Flood-related joblessness was reported in the Richmond, Lynchburg and Roanoke areas, which were among the hardest hit in the state. In the combined Richmond-Petersburg metropolitan area, the unemployment rate was estimated at 4.7 percent last month, up from 4.6 percent in October and 4.2 percent a year earlier.
The Maryland labor force increased in November by 31,163, while unemployment declined by 11,908 people from the previous month. Unemployment in the Maryland suburbs decreased slightly, down to 2.7 percent from 2.8 percent the month before.
Frederick County had the lowest unemployment rate in the state -- 2.3 percent. Charles and Montgomery counties followed with 2.4 percent rates.
In the Baltimore metropolitan area, the unemployment rate remained the same as October at 5.4 percent.