Unemployment increased slightly in the state during August, rising to 6.7% from 6.6%, but Maryland officials said the uptick was not alarming.

Officials with the Maryland Department of Economic and Employment Development said job reductions are common in August, when employers begin to trim seasonal workforces.

Mark L. Wasserman, the department's secretary, said other economic indicators continue to suggest that the state's economy is recovering, albeit slowly.

For example, initial claims for unemployment insurance fell during August. Compared with August 1992, initial claims were down almost 19%. In addition, retail sales totaled $3.57 billion during July, a 12.7% increase from the levels posted in July 1992.

Wasserman also noted that new automobile registrations in Maryland during August totaled 29,767, a 13% increase from August 1992.

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