BALTIMORE, MD (July 17, 2008) – A decline in the number of jobseekers over-the-month
helped to maintain Maryland’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate at 4.0 percent for
the second consecutive month according to estimates released by the Maryland Department
of Labor, Licensing and Regulation. The share of unemployed Marylanders searching for
employment remained considerably below that of the nation, which was reported at 5.5
percent in June.
While the waning strength of the national economy has contributed to a tightening
in statewide labor market conditions, Maryland’s economy continues to tread water.
Nationally, private sector payrolls declined by 91,000 in June, extending year-to-date
losses to 485,000 jobs. In Maryland, private sector employment, while declining by 500
jobs in June to a level of 2,148,400, remains 3,300 above the job total reported in
January. At the detailed industry level, a number of business sectors -- construction,
information, finance and insurance, healthcare and real estate -- reported higher job
totals in June.
By historical standards, however, job creation is lagging considerably, limiting the
number of available opportunities and creating increased competition among jobseekers.
Recently passed legislation to extend unemployment benefits will provide additional
support to jobseekers during the current economic slowdown.
At the local level, the influx of summer jobseekers into the labor market pushed
non-seasonally adjusted unemployment rates higher in all but Cecil County where the
rate held steady at 4.8 percent and, in Worcester County, where unemployment tumbled
from 5.2 percent to 4.5 percent as local jobseekers took advantage of job creation
resulting from the upturn in tourism activities. Baltimore City’s rate, rising by
0.7 percentage points, was the highest in June at 6.6 percent while jobless lows
of 3.2 percent and 3.3 percent were reported in Howard and Montgomery counties, respectively.