Division of Workforce Development and Adult Learning


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


Following a downward revision to 7.1 percent in August, Maryland’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate inched up a notch to a preliminary rate of 7.2 percent in September. Unemployment in Maryland, which has remained relatively unchanged since May, remains below that of the nation which was reported at 9.8 percent in September.

Seasonally Adjusted Unemployment Rates - Maryland and US - September 2008 through September 2009
Seasonally Adjusted Unemployment Rates
Maryland and US
September 2008 through September 2009
Sept 08 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 7.1% 9.7%
Sept 7.2% 9.8%

During September, Maryland employers cut about 3,600 jobs from their business payrolls – a decline which, when compared to the average monthly loss of 4,700 jobs experienced through August 2009, can be viewed as a sign that the job market is beginning to stabilize. September’s downsizing was concentrated primarily in accommodations, professional/business/scientific services, retail trade and state government.

The most significant movement in industrial activity during September was the addition of 1,400 jobs reported in the construction sector – a gain which follows eighteen months of consecutive declines.

Despite an uptick in unemployment and an overall decline on statewide business payrolls, the recessionary pressures in the job market have begun to show signs of abating. While the economy may be poised for a comeback, however, Maryland, as well as the nation, faces an arduous task in repairing the damage from the economic freefall and restoring the economy to its pre-recession equilibrium. The recession has, thus far, added nearly 107,000 persons to the statewide unemployment rolls and diminished Maryland’s business payrolls by close to 80,000 jobs.

Locally, August – September is a transition period in the labor market. The exodus of students and other summer workers from the job market enters its final phase. Movements in nonseasonally adjusted unemployment rates were mixed during September. Thirteen of the local jurisdictions reported unemployment rates at or below the state’s nonseasonally adjusted estimate, with rates in Montgomery and Howard counties the lowest at 5.3 percent and 5.4 percent, respectively.

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