Maryland Unemployment Rate Improves to 6.9 Percent


Employers add 2,000 new jobs in November

Maryland adds 26,700 jobs since January
15,000 additional Marylanders working in November; 9,400 fewer unemployed
Revised October data shows increase of 7,400 jobs from September to October
Maryland Labor Secretary lauds SHA BuildUp training initiative

BALTIMORE, MD (December 20, 2011) - Maryland's unemployment rate improved 0.3 percentage points in November, dropping below 7.0 percent for the first time since May 2011. The state's 6.9 percent unemployment rate is 1.7 percentage points below the national average. Preliminary data released today by the U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics showed that Maryland employers added 2,000 jobs in November, the third straight month of job growth. Since January, Maryland has added nearly 27,000 jobs, the largest January-November job growth since 2005. The BLS report also revised October payroll data upward by 4,300 jobs. Based on the revised data, Maryland added 7,400 jobs from September to October.

"Maryland's unemployment rate improved to 6.9 percent in November. The 0.3 percentage point reduction in the state jobless rate is the largest single-month improvement since the start of the recession," said Maryland Labor Secretary Alexander M. Sanchez. "While this month's report is another positive sign, our job growth must accelerate to keep Maryland competitive in the New Economy. On-the-job training programs, like the BuildUp program our partners at the State Highway Administration launched earlier this month, go a long way to put Marylanders to work now and equip them with the skills to keep their jobs in tomorrow's economy."

Maryland's private sector drove the state's job growth during November. Private sector employers added 4,300 jobs. The construction and leisure supersectors led the way, each adding 1,100 new positions. The leading subsectors included retail trade, which added 2,600 jobs and the professional, scientific and technical services and accommodation/food services subsectors, which each added 1,800 jobs. Maryland shed 2,300 government jobs, including 2,300 state positions and 500 federal jobs (local governments added 500 jobs). The state government losses may be the result of American Reinvestment and Recovery Act grants running out.

Employment data shows that more than 15,000 additional Marylanders were working in November and 9,400 fewer were unemployed. In all, the state's labor force grew by more than 5,700.

The Department of Labor supports a variety of workforce training programs that will help maintain a skilled workforce and accelerate future job growth. Earlier this month, the Maryland State Highway Administration launched a new training program for disadvantaged Marylanders to give them the key tools they need to secure jobs in the transportation field. The BuildUp training program will provide on-the-job training for 150 individuals over the next year for transportation careers in one of three primary tracks: construction craft skills, Computer Aided Design and Drafting (CADD) systems and accredited CDL (commercial driving license) preparation.

Additional information on the SHA program can be found at their website or at DLLR's One Stop Employment Centers. Applications must be submitted by January 15 and can only be completed on SHA's website.

The Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation protects and empowers Marylanders by safeguarding workers, protecting consumers, providing a safety net and cultivating a thriving workforce that can meet the demands of Maryland’s dynamic economy. Follow DLLR on Twitter (@MD_DLLR) and Facebook.

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