Division of Workforce Development and Adult Learning


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


The deterioration in national conditions has continued to take its toll on Marylandís job market. Marylandís private sector job creation, which has been uneven throughout the year, trended downward in July. With actual hiring demand down in an already tight labor market, the increasing numbers of Marylanders entering the job market pushed the Stateís seasonally adjusted unemployment rate up by 0.4 percentage points over-the-month to 4.4 percent in July according to estimates released by the Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation. The current unemployment rate, which is the highest for the month since July 2003, is up from 3.6 percent recorded a year ago.

The share of unemployed Marylanders searching for employment, however, remained considerably below that of the nation, which rose to 5.7 percent in July.

While hiring at the federal level and in local government summer programs helped to elevate Maryland business payrolls in July, the overall increase was mitigated by a decline of 500 jobs on private sector payrolls. July is not typically a month of large job increases, however, the current decline, coupled with a private sector job loss of 1,100 jobs reported in June, is an added weight on Marylandís job market in light of the continuing weakness in the construction, manufacturing and finance sectors.

While employment rose in nearly every local jurisdiction during July, the seasonal influx of jobseekers eclipsed employment expansion, causing non-seasonally adjusted unemployment rates to rise in all jurisdictions, with the exception of Washington and Worcester counties. Baltimore Cityís rate, remaining the statewide high at 7.3 percent in July, along with Cecil Countyís rate, showed the largest upward movement over-the-month, with unemployment rising by 0.7 percentage points.  Thirteen local jurisdictions reported unemployment rates at or below the statewide non-seasonally adjusted rate in July, with an unemployment low of 3.4 percent shared by Howard and Montgomery counties. In reaction to the overall slowdown in statewide market conditions, unemployment rates in all but Dorchester County have risen since last July.

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