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Md. jobless stays at 4.9%


Maryland's unemployment rate stayed at 4.9 percent in April, after adjustments for seasonal hiring variations, state officials said yesterday.

The proportion of jobless workers here is substantially less than in the country at large. The U.S. unemployment rate is 5.7 percent.

One economist said the economic slowdown that appears imminent nationally doesn't seem quite so close to Maryland.

"Maryland's future for the first time in quite a while looks to be a little brighter than the country as a whole," said Michael Conte, head of the Regional Economic Studies Program at the University of Baltimore. "For this Maryland report, I read it as 'steady as she goes.' "

Maryland looks good mainly in comparison, however. The state did add 13,500 jobs in April, a preliminary count that yielded a total of 2,563,104.

But its construction industry is sluggish, and it faces the prospect of large federal layoffs if some in Congress carry through on their vows to pare government.

Without adjusting for seasonal variations, Maryland's jobless rate for April was 4.6 percent, down from 4.9 percent in March.

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