BALTIMORE, MD (April 17, 2009) – Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation Secretary
Thomas E. Perez announced that Maryland’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate inched
upward by one tenth of a percentage point from February’s revised rate of 6.8 percent to
6.9 percent in March. The movement in Maryland’s unemployment rate was relatively muted
compared to that of the nation, which saw an increase from 8.1 percent in February to
8.5 percent in March.
“The increase in unemployment in March was considerably smaller than in recent months,
but Maryland is clearly not out of the woods. Marylanders are still losing jobs, and
we remain committed to helping those who are hurting access resources and services,”
Secretary Perez said. “Those who have lost jobs should apply immediately for unemployment
insurance and should visit their nearest one stop center.”
Marylanders should visit the Maryland
Workforce Exchange or call 1-888-881-0068 to find a local one stop center. They can also visit
Problem Solver website to learn about other state services.
The labor market continued to tighten in March, as evidenced by the number of jobseekers
who opted to discontinue their job search. During March, just over 5,800 jobseekers exited
the job market.
While unemployment was little changed, the number of jobs on industry payrolls following
seasonal adjustment declined by 10,200 from February, bringing the year-to-date job loss to
just over 21,000 jobs. Declines were seen in each of the major private sector industry groups
with the exception of education and health services. Long-term declines continued in
construction, and the professional and business services sector, which began to backslide
in February, experienced yet another month of curtailment. About eight out of every ten
jobs lost during March resulted from layoff activity reported in these two business sectors.
The downturn in Maryland’s job market followed on the heels of national reports,
which showed business payrolls falling by 633,000 jobs during March. Significant
erosion has occurred in the nation’s industrial job base since last March, with a
decline of 3.5 percent translating into a loss of nearly 4.8 million jobs. In Maryland,
while job loss has escalated, the 2.2 percent rate of decline over the past year remains
considerably below that of the nation.