Marylandís resistance to national market conditions has, over the past few
months, begun to show signs of wavering. Following last monthís
increase, seasonally adjusted unemployment inched up again in
August, rising from 4.3 percent in July to 4.5 percent according to
estimates released by the Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation.
Maryland while not immune from the national economic unrest, does, however,
appear to be faring much better than the US as a whole. The latest
national estimates show unemployment rising by 0.4 percentage points
over-the-month to 6.1 percent in August. Comparatively, the increase in Marylandís
unemployment rate since last year, of 0.9 percentage points, is much less
pronounced than that of 1.4 percentage points recorded nationally.
Activity on Marylandís business payrolls, although slowing, reinforces the
fact that Marylandís economy appears to be in a much better place
than that of the nation. Job losses continued nationally during
August while Marylandís seasonally adjusted payroll count showed
an increase of 1,800 jobs. Expansion was restricted to private
sector payrolls, with gains spread across all major sectors with the
exception of construction, information and leisure/hospitality where
employment remained essentially unchanged. Despite the general
disquiet tempering economic conditions, Maryland industries have
generated just over 27,000 jobs since last August.
Local labor markets movements reflected the traditional exodus of summer
workers from the labor market. Labor force downsizing helped to
either maintain or lower non-seasonally adjusted unemployment rates
in all but five local jurisdictions during August. More
than half of the stateís jurisdictions reported unemployment rates
at or below the statewide non-seasonally adjusted average in August,
with rates in Montgomery and Howard counties the lowest at 3.2
percent and 3.3 percent, respectively.
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