Division of Workforce Development and Adult Learning


Labor Force and Industry Developments - Maryland Monthly Labor Review - April 2008


An influx of jobseekers into the labor market pushed Marylandís labor force over the 3 million mark in April Ė a first in Marylandís seasonally adjusted labor force series. Employment, while also advancing, lagged somewhat behind that of the labor force, causing Marylandís seasonally adjusted unemployment rate to inch up slightly from 3.6 percent in March to 3.7 percent in April according to estimates developed by the Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation.

Marylandís unemployment rate, which has changed very little from that of 3.5 percent reported a year ago, continues to remain well below that of the nation which was reported at 5.0 percent in April.

According to a statement released by the Departmentís Secretary, Thomas E. Perez, ďWe continue to see the ripple effects of the housing crisis and the overall economic downturn in our unemployment figures, but it is also apparent that Marylandís economic diversity and the federal presence here have helped to keep our economy growing.Ē

Employment on Marylandís business payrolls took a modest step backward in April, with about 1,900 fewer jobs reported according to the monthly survey of business establishments. Employment reductions in construction and professional and business services were the largest. Whether the monthly declines, in these industries in particular, are an indication that Marylandís economy is reacting to the national movements over the past few months or merely a faltering in the slow but steady growth which has characterized these sectors bears watching in the months to come.

At the local level, non-seasonally adjusted unemployment rates declined in each jurisdiction with the exception of Cecil County where unemployment rose slightly from 4.1 percent to 4.2 percent. Unemployment rates were the most noticeably improved in Allegany, Garrett and Worcester counties where declines of more than a full percentage point were reported. In Worcester County, in particular, early seasonal hiring helped to boost employment by nearly 1,400 persons and to lower the local unemployment rate from 9.0 percent in March to 7.0 percent in April.

Unemployment rates in Howard, Montgomery, Calvert, Charles, St Maryís and Frederick counties were included among the statewide lows, with rates in each of these local jurisdictions reported below 3 percent.

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