The number of Marylanders entering the job market continued to grow in May, an expansion
that translated in rising unemployment over the month. Marylandís
seasonally adjusted unemployment rate, which remained relatively stable
through the first four months of the year, rose from 3.6 percent in April
to 4.0 percent in May according to estimates released by the Maryland
Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation.
The upturn in Marylandís unemployment rate followed the national movement which showed
unemployment rising by 0.5 percentage points to 5.5 percent in May.
Marylandís economy has not been immune to the financial stresses caused by the credit crisis and rising
energy and food costs. The statewide job market has, however, fared
somewhat better than that of the nation. According to a statement recently
released by the U.S. Department of Labor, nationally, businesses have shed
more than 300,000 jobs thus far in 2008, with a reduction of 49,000 jobs
reported in May. In Maryland, employers, while proceeding cautiously, have
added about 6,500 jobs since January, with Mayís business survey showing
a gain of 1,100 jobs. Growth, however, has been uneven. Economic
uncertainty has continued to diminish activity in the construction,
manufacturing and finance sectors, industries which shed a combined total
of 1,500 jobs in May. Expansion elsewhere on Marylandís private sector
payrolls minimized the impact of these declines, with gains in health
services leading the positive movement.
The slowing in the job market meant that there were fewer jobs available for
incoming seasonal and temporary workers in a number of Marylandís local
jurisdictions. During May, non-seasonally adjusted unemployment rates were
higher in twenty of the stateís twenty-four local jurisdictions.
Baltimore Cityís rate, rising by 0.8 percentage points over-the-month,
was the statewide high in May at 6.0 percent. Worcester
Countyís rate was the most noticeably improved, declining from 7.0
percent to 5.3 percent Ė a decline resulting from the hiring of seasonal
workers to fill job openings in tourism-related industries.
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