Division of Workforce Development and Adult Learning


Labor Force and Industry Developments - Maryland Monthly Labor Review - March 2008


Marylandís seasonally adjusted unemployment rate inched up by two-tenths of a percentage point, from a revised rate of 3.4 percent in February to 3.6 percent in March -- a rate little changed from that of 3.5 percent reported last year at this time according to Marylandís Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation.

Marylandís unemployment rate, the 10th lowest in a statewide ranking, remained well below that of the nation which advanced from 4.8 percent in February to 5.1 percent in March.

While nationally, consumer confidence has declined sharply and labor market conditions have noticeably deteriorated with losses of 80, 000 jobs reported in March , Marylandís economy has continued to expand, albeit modestly. We remain cautiously optimistic that the diversity of Marylandís economy and the activity generated by the BRAC movement will help to maintain Marylandís job market.

The number of Maryland-based jobs, as measured through the monthly establishment survey, grew by 3,600 through March. Performance among the industries was mixed. In manufacturing, a number of temporary furloughs lowered employment while, in construction, an industry which has been on the economic watch list because of its close relationship with the finance sector, an atypical decline was noted. Rising payroll reports, of note, in the wholesale trade, professional and business services, education and health services and accommodation and food services industries more than compensated for these declines.

Locally, the early onset of seasonal hiring helped to lower or maintain unemployment rates in all but Baltimore County where an influx of jobseekers caused unemployment to advance slightly. Unemployment in Worcester County was the most noticeably improved, dropping by nearly a full percentage point. During March, Howard, Calvert and Montgomery counties reported unemployment lows, with rates in each jurisdiction below 3.0 percent.

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