Employment Situation - May 2008


BALTIMORE, MD (6/20/08) Ė Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation Secretary Thomas E. Perez today announced that after remaining relatively stable for the first four months of the year, Marylandís seasonally adjusted unemployment rate grew to 4.0 percent in May from 3.6 percent in April.

The upturn in Marylandís unemployment rate was consistent with a nationwide unemployment increase of half a percentage point to 5.5 percent in May.

"Maryland is one of only ten states that experienced positive growth in employment in the past year," Secretary Perez said. "Still, Marylandís economy is not immune to the financial stresses caused by the credit crisis and rising energy and food costs, and we are seeing the effects of those factors."

According to a statement recently released by the U.S. Department of Labor, nationally businesses have shed more than 300,000 jobs thus far in 2008, with a reduction of 49,000 jobs reported in May. In Maryland, employers have proceeded cautiously, adding about 6,500 jobs since January, including 1,100 jobs in May.

Job growth has been uneven across sectors. Economic uncertainty has continued to diminish activity in the construction, manufacturing and finance sectors, industries which shed a combined total of 1,500 jobs in May. Expansion elsewhere on Marylandís private sector payrolls minimized the impact of these declines, with gains in health services leading the positive movement.