Division of Workforce Development and Adult Learning


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


Marylandís seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was little changed over-the-month, edging upward by one tenth of a percentage point from Septemberís revised rate of 7.2 percent to 7.3 percent in October. The movement in Marylandís unemployment rate was relatively muted compared to that of the nation which showed unemployment moving into double-digits at 10.2 percent in October.

Seasonally Adjusted Unemployment Rates - Maryland and US - October 2008 through October 2009
Seasonally Adjusted Unemployment Rates
Maryland and US
October 2008 through October 2009
Oct 08 4.8% 6.6%
Nov 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%

While the unemployment rate has remained somewhat steady over the past six months, jobseekers continue to encounter a tight job market as evidenced by the number of jobseekers who opted to discontinue their search Ė a movement which, in fact, helped to minimize the impact of monthly employment declines.

In recognizing the challenges continuing to face jobseekers across the nation, Congress recently passed legislation to extend unemployment benefits by an additional 14 weeks.

During October, 1,500 jobs were added to statewide industry payrolls. Durable goods manufacturing, administrative and support services and local education were the primary industries driving this upturn.

Octoberís job report should be viewed with cautious optimism. Industry payrolls have been up and down over the past few months; signs of sustainable growth have yet to emerge. The upcoming merger between Black and Decker and Stanley Tools, which is expected to put about 250 Marylanders out of work, will create an additional stumbling block to future economic progress. 

Since last October, Marylandís business payrolls have receded by just over 51,000 jobs.

At the local level, non-seasonally adjusted unemployment rates trended upward in October, rising in each jurisdiction. The largest increases were reported in the Shore Area counties where seasonal economics are pivotal in market activity. As is the norm, Worcester Countyís rate was the most influenced, increasing by more than two full percentage points to reach 10.0 percent in October. Unemployment in Dorchester County was, however, the statewide high, climbing up on the double-digit scale to 11.2 percent.

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