The state’s Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation announced county-by-county unemployment numbers for December 2013. Montgomery County’s unemployment rate was 4.1 percent, the lowest since it was 4.1 percent in December 2008.
The Great Recession soon followed, pushing the county, state and country’s unemployment rates up. Montgomery County’s ballooned to 5.4 percent in February 2009 and hit a high of 6.3 percent in January 2010.
County Executive Isiah Leggett, who in his re-election bid has touted his fiscal stewardship during the recession, said the unemployment number was another sign of how the county has rebounded.
“Despite the great recession, Montgomery County remained robust — and the latest unemployment numbers reflect that,” Leggett said in a prepared statement. “By putting our fiscal house in order and investing in the jobs of the future, we are coming out of the worst of the economic crisis stronger than ever. The proof is in our low unemployment rate of 4.1 percent, one of the lowest in the nation. Since 2011, Montgomery County has added more than 18,000 jobs, a three percent increase.”
The 4.1 percent unemployment rate is the second lowest in the state among counties and Baltimore City. Howard County had a December 2013 unemployment rate of 4 percent. The state of Maryland had a 5.7 percent unemployment rate.
“This good news demonstrates the vitality of our local business community and economy,” county Department of Economic Development Director Steve Silverman said. “While many factors determine monthly unemployment figures, declining unemployment rates are a clear economic indicator that Montgomery County’s economy is on the right track.”
Both Leggett and Silverman are scheduled to be in Bethesda on Thursday morning to talk with business representatives as part of Bisnow’s 3rd Annual Montgomery County Forecast.