People are still out of work in Harford, although the number continues to be on a decrease, albeit slightly, according to the latest statistics from the state's Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation.
The first month of 2012 showed a 7.1 percent unemployment rate, about the same as the average for all of 2011. But it was also the lowest rate for any January since 2009.
January had 9,704 unemployed Harford residents. The average for 2011 was 9,287.
It keeps the county on par with the Baltimore metropolitan area, which had an average unemployment rate of 7.3 for January.
It is, however, a bit higher than the statewide average, which was 7 percent for that month, as well as 7.1 percent for February.
Cecil County, which is not counted among the Baltimore metropolitan area, still had a higher rate: 9 percent for January.
Those were likewise the lowest unemployment rates for those months since 2008, when the recession started.
The number of unemployed residents in November — 8,194 — was the lowest since January 2008.
The overall yearly average through November was 7.1 percent, only slightly lower than the rate of 7.5 in 2010 and 7.3 in 2009.
Last year, Bruce England, executive director of Susquehanna Workforce Network Inc., said: "We are seeing positive gains and positive hiring trends, and it's not just one sector that we are seeing it in."