Maryland Employment Situation - July 2009


BALTIMORE, MD (8/21/09) – The number of employed Marylanders rose during July; however, growth in the number of jobseekers overshadowed this increase, causing Maryland’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate to inch up slightly from June’s revised rate of 7.2 percent to 7.3 percent in July. July’s employment gain is the second monthly upturn reported since the recession began a year and a half ago.

Nationally, unemployment, while declining slightly to 9.4 percent in July, remained more than two full percentage points above that of Maryland.

Preliminary estimates showed employment on Maryland’s industrial payrolls trending upward during July, with a seasonally adjusted gain of 10,000 jobs reported. Both public and private sector payrolls expanded, with gains in the private sector spurred by the continuing slow but steady growth in health care and accommodations and food services.

While recent reports show that the pace of economic contraction appears to be slowing and the downturn in some industries is showing signs of bottoming out, the general consensus is that labor market conditions will continue to be affected by a series of ups and downs before economic equilibrium can be achieved and recovery begins. The economic leveling and sporadic job growth which has occurred over the past few months, while a possible prelude to recovery, can best be viewed as one of the economic bumps which are likely to reoccur as the economy strives for sustainable growth.

Seasonal expansion, particularly in leisure and hospitality industries, loosened the job market somewhat for jobseekers during July. Employment advanced in nearly every local jurisdiction during July, helping to either maintain or lower non-seasonally adjusted unemployment rates in fifteen of the state’s localities. In those jurisdictions reporting higher jobless rates, an influx of new and reentrant jobseekers into the labor market caused rates to creep up. Unemployment rates during July ranged from a low of 5.5 percent in Montgomery County to a high of 11.5 percent in Dorchester County. Baltimore City’s rate, rising by 0.5 percentage points over the month to 11.3 percent, trailed only slightly behind Dorchester.

Employment Situation