Division of Workforce Development and Adult Learning


Labor Force and Industry Developments - Maryland Monthly Labor Review - November 2009


Marylandís seasonally adjusted unemployment rate inched up slightly, rising from a revised rate of 7.3 percent in October to a preliminary rate of 7.4 percent in November. The share of unemployed Marylanders looking for work, however, remains considerably below that of the nation which was reported in the double-digits at 10.0 percent in November.

Seasonally Adjusted Unemployment Rates - Maryland and US - November 2008 through November 2009
Seasonally Adjusted Unemployment Rates
Maryland and US
November 2008 through November 2009
Nov 08 5.1% 6.8%
Dec 5.4% 7.2%
Jan 09 6.2% 7.6%
Feb 6.8% 8.1%
Mar 6.9% 8.5%
Apr 6.8% 8.9%
May 7.2% 9.4%
June 7.2% 9.5%
July 7.2% 9.4%
Aug 7.1% 9.7%
Sept 7.2% 9.8%
Oct 7.3% 10.2%
Nov 7.4% 10.0%

Expansion in the labor force was the primary factor responsible for Marylandís monthly unemployment upturn. Close to 16,000 new and re-entrant jobseekers entered the labor market in November. Employment, while advancing, lagged slightly behind, causing the number of unemployed to rise by about 4,500.

Marylandís business survey showed continued job losses in November, however, the rate of decline has moderated, remaining at less than one tenth of a percentage point over the past three months. Trade, leisure and hospitality and government were among the industries most noticeably affected by over-the-month reductions. Hiring, of import, did occur in manufacturing, professional and business services and education and health services, helping to mitigate the impact of these declines.

It is not uncommon for the labor market to move unevenly at this point in the business cycle. Unemployment is, in fact, a lagging indicator which may continue to move erratically as the economy strives to recover. There are, however, encouraging signs beginning to emerge. As previously noted, declines in business payrolls have been incrementally smaller over the past few months. This moderating has narrowed the gap in over-the-year comparisons. In August, there were 62,500 fewer jobs on business payrolls compared to the previous year. Novemberís payroll figures show losses over the past year have abated to a substantially lower level of 40,800.

At the local level, monthly unemployment rates ranged from a low of 5.3 percent shared by Howard and Montgomery counties to a high of 14.6 percent in Worcester County. Unemployment rates were higher in November in twelve local jurisdictions. Counties on the Eastern Shore were the most visibly impacted. Rising joblessness was the norm in all Shore jurisdictions with the exception of Somerset County.

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