Employment Situation - February 2008


BALTIMORE, MD (March 21, 2008) – Both the number of employed residents and the count of Maryland-based jobs advanced in February. Rising employment helped to lower Maryland’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate from 3.5 percent in January to 3.4 percent in February – its lowest rate for the month since February 2000 according to Maryland’s Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation. Maryland’s job market managed to move ahead modestly while national indicators showed mixed results in February. Nationally, a decline in unemployment from 4.9 percent to 4.8 percent was tempered by a reduction in the number of employed, the subsequent withdrawal of jobseekers from the labor market and two consecutive months of declining industry payrolls.

In Maryland, job creation during February helped to boost industry payrolls by 4,300 jobs. Construction, administrative support services, health services and state and federal government were among the industries showing the largest monthly gains. According to preliminary estimates, Maryland’s job base has grown by 30,700 jobs since last February. Advances in firms providing administrative support and health services and in establishments providing accommodations and food services, when combined, accounted for about 6 out of every 10 jobs added over-the-year.

Locally, employment advanced in almost all jurisdictions helping to either lower or stabilize non-seasonally adjusted unemployment rates in twenty-two of the state’s twenty-four jurisdictions. Twelve jurisdictions, primarily located in the Baltimore and DC Metro Areas, recorded unemployment rates at or below the statewide average. Howard and Montgomery counties, with rates of 2.5 percent and 2.7 percent, respectively, were ranked as statewide lows.