A decline in the number of jobseekers over-the-month helped
to maintain Maryland’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate at 4.0
percent for the second consecutive month according to estimates released
by the Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation.
The share of unemployed Marylanders searching for employment
remained considerably below that of the nation, which was reported at 5.5 percent in June.
While the waning strength of the national economy has
contributed to a tightening in statewide labor market conditions,
Maryland’s economy continues to tread water. Nationally, private sector
payrolls declined by 91,000 in June, extending year-to-date losses to
485,000 jobs. In Maryland, private sector employment, while declining by
500 jobs in June to a level of 2,148,400, remains 3,300 above the job
total reported in January. At the detailed industry level, a number of
business sectors -- construction, information, finance and insurance,
healthcare and real estate -- reported higher job totals in June.
By historical standards, however, job creation is lagging
considerably, limiting the number of available opportunities and creating
increased competition among jobseekers. Recently passed legislation to
extend unemployment benefits will provide additional support to jobseekers
during the current economic slowdown.
At the local level, the influx of summer jobseekers into the labor market
pushed non-seasonally adjusted unemployment rates higher in all but Cecil
County where the rate held steady at 4.8 percent and, in Worcester County,
where unemployment tumbled from 5.2 percent to 4.5 percent as local
jobseekers took advantage of job creation resulting from the upturn in
tourism activities. Baltimore City’s rate, rising by 0.7 percentage
points, was the highest in June at 6.6 percent while jobless lows of 3.2
percent and 3.3 percent were reported in Howard and Montgomery counties, respectively.
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