BALTIMORE, MD (January 27, 2009) – Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation
Secretary Thomas E. Perez announced today that Maryland’s seasonally adjusted
unemployment rate climbed to 5.8 percent in December 2008 from 5.3 percent in November.
While the rate has risen steadily with the national economic decline, Maryland’s unemployment
rate remained considerably below that of 7.2 percent reported nationally in December.
“As the nation’s economy continues its dramatic decline, layoffs and business closures
continue to push Maryland’s unemployment rate higher,” Secretary Perez said. “The State
of Maryland offers an array of services for workers and employers facing economic turmoil.
We encourage all unemployed Marylanders to visit
Workforce Exchange to find their local One Stop Career Center.”
Maryland employers shed about 9,800 jobs in December, bringing the job total to just
more than 15,000 below the level of the previous year. The downturn has begun to ripple
throughout the economy, with cutbacks in December reported in every major private sector
industry group, except for education and health services and financial activities, which
remained flat. While pre-recession growth in education and health services has slowed,
continued demand in health services has managed to keep that industry afloat thus far.
Recent reports showed the largest over-the-month job declines occurring in retail
trade, an industry which has begun to show stress as declining discretionary income
has forced consumers to curb their spending. The construction industry, reporting the
second largest number of monthly job reductions, has been an industry in crisis since
the onset of the downturn.