Howard unemployment hits lowest rate in 5 years

Howard County's unemployment rate is at its lowest level in five years, County Executive Ken Ulman announced Tuesday.

November data show Howard's unemployment rate was 4.5 percent, tied with Montgomery County for the lowest in the state.

November unemployment levels are down 0.8 percent from the October levels.

The improving numbers show a recovery from October's 16-day federal shutdown, county officials said.

"Slowly but surely, more and more of our residents who were displaced by the recession are finding new jobs," Ulman said in a statement. "We have worked hard to be fiscally responsibly while protecting and enhancing the great schools, safe neighborhoods, beautiful natural resources and community health that residents expect and deserve. We're proving that you can do all that and at the same time, remain business-friendly and promote growth."

The county's unemployment numbers have consistently been the lowest in the state. The statewide unemployment rate was 6 percent for the same time period.

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