BALTIMORE, MD (December 19, 2008) Ė The mounting economic pressures which have
skewed national market conditions over the past year have, in recent months, begun
to impact Marylandís employment picture. Unemployment, which remained relatively
unchanged during the first quarter of the year, has begun to consistently trend
upward. Seasonally adjusted unemployment rose from 4.9 percent in October to 5.3
percent in November, reaching its highest level on record since the early months
of 1994 according to the Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation. Last November,
Marylandís unemployment rate stood at a modest 3.6 percent. All told, close to 158,000
Marylanders were unemployed during November, an increase of just over 9,450 persons
over-the-month and nearly 50,450 above that of last November. The potential
unemployment impact was, in fact, minimized somewhat during November by the exodus
of about 5,300 jobseekers from the labor market.
Marylandís business payrolls shed additional jobs in November, with a reduction
of 4,900 jobs spread across every private sector industry with the exception of
educational and health services. While expansion in this business sector has
slowed, job gains have continued almost uninterrupted throughout the year. Education
and health services, along with professional and business services and leisure and
hospitality, are the only private sector industries which have continued to report
employment gains over the past year.
The slippage in Marylandís job market during November followed on the heels of
national reports which showed the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate inching up
from 6.5 percent to 6.7 percent and business payrolls falling by more than 530,000
jobs. While statewide indicators are showing signs of stress, Marylandís job market
remains in somewhat of a better place than that of the nation. Nationally, eleven
consecutive months of declining employment, have caused significant erosion in the
nationís industrial job base. A decline of 1.4% since last November has pared close
to 2 million jobs from national payrolls. In Maryland, while job loss has been noted
in select industries, the stateís total job base has continued to expand over the
past year, with employers adding nearly 13,000 jobs to industry payrolls.
Jobseekers across the state were impacted by faltering market conditions.
Locally, declining employment pushed unemployment rates higher in each jurisdiction
with the exception of Cecil County where unemployment held steady over-the-month.
Some of the most noteworthy increases, of a full percentage point or higher, were
reported in Dorchester, Garrett and Worcester counties.