Maryland Employment Situation - December 2008


BALTIMORE, MD (January 27, 2009) – Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation Secretary Thomas E. Perez announced today that Maryland’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate climbed to 5.8 percent in December 2008 from 5.3 percent in November. While the rate has risen steadily with the national economic decline, Maryland’s unemployment rate remained considerably below that of 7.2 percent reported nationally in December.

“As the nation’s economy continues its dramatic decline, layoffs and business closures continue to push Maryland’s unemployment rate higher,” Secretary Perez said. “The State of Maryland offers an array of services for workers and employers facing economic turmoil. We encourage all unemployed Marylanders to visit the Maryland Workforce Exchange to find their local One Stop Career Center.”

Maryland employers shed about 9,800 jobs in December, bringing the job total to just more than 15,000 below the level of the previous year. The downturn has begun to ripple throughout the economy, with cutbacks in December reported in every major private sector industry group, except for education and health services and financial activities, which remained flat. While pre-recession growth in education and health services has slowed, continued demand in health services has managed to keep that industry afloat thus far.

Recent reports showed the largest over-the-month job declines occurring in retail trade, an industry which has begun to show stress as declining discretionary income has forced consumers to curb their spending. The construction industry, reporting the second largest number of monthly job reductions, has been an industry in crisis since the onset of the downturn.