Employment Situation - August 2008


BALTIMORE, MD (September 19, 2008) Ė 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.