Division of Workforce Development and Adult Learning


Labor Force and Industry Developments - Maryland Monthly Labor Review - August 2009


The labor market status of Maryland residents has been little changed over the past few months. During August, the number of working Marylanders moderated somewhat, however, downsizing in the labor force helped to neutralize the monthly employment reduction and to maintain Marylandís seasonally adjusted unemployment rate at 7.2 percent for the fourth consecutive month.

Seasonally Adjusted Unemployment Rates - Maryland and US - August 2008 through August 2009

The equilibrium in Marylandís jobless rate countered that of the nation which showed unemployment rising by 0.3 percentage points over-the-month to a level of 9.7 percent in August.

While jobseekers have continued to encounter a tight labor market and the number of unemployed, currently at 213,574, is considerably above last yearís level of 135,825, the job market status of Maryland residents has stabilized somewhat over the past few months. Recent changes in Marylandís labor force indicators have been relatively muted compared to those experienced throughout 2008 and into the early months of 2009 -- a possible indication that economic conditions are beginning to turn around.

Following a revised seasonally adjusted gain of 6,800 jobs in July, Marylandís business payrolls dropped back by an estimated 12,000 jobs in August. Business payroll activity has yet to attain consistency; activity over the past few months has been characterized by a series of ups and downs. While overall activity was down, hiring occurred in select industries. Retail trade, transportation, administrative and support services and education and health services were among the industries offering additional opportunities for jobseekers looking to make Maryland their home base for employment. 

At the local level, labor force movements reflected the combined effect of economic and seasonal layoff activity. August is traditionally the time when summer activities start to wind down and employers begin to cut temporary summer workers from their payrolls. During August, employment declined in each of the stateís local jurisdictions. In all but two local jurisdictions Ė Cecil and Washington counties, the withdrawal of workers from the job market helped to mitigate these declines and either maintain or lower non-seasonally adjusted unemployment rates. During August, local unemployment rates ranged from a low of 5.2 percent in Montgomery County to a double-digit rate of 11.1 percent shared by both Baltimore City and Dorchester County.

Seasonally Adjusted Unemployment Rates
Maryland and US
August 2008 through August 2009
Aug 08 4.5% 6.2%
Sept 4.6% 6.2%
Oct 4.8% 6.6%
Nov 5.1% 6.8%
Dec 5.4% 7.2%
Jan 09 6.2% 7.6%
Feb 6.8% 8.1%
Mar 6.9% 8.5%
Apr 6.8% 8.9%
May 7.2% 9.4%
June 7.2% 9.5%
July 7.2% 9.4%
Aug 7.2% 9.7%

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