Employment Situation - October 2008


BALTIMORE, MD (November 21, 2008) – Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation Secretary Thomas E. Perez announced today that Maryland’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate continued to trend upward in October, increasing by 0.4 percentage points to 5.0 percent. Nationally, the unemployment rate rose to 6.5 percent.

“Once again, it is clear that Marylanders are feeling the pain caused by the national economic downturn. While we continue to fare better than the nation as a whole, Maryland is not immune to the ripples caused by the housing crisis and the credit market meltdown,” Secretary Perez said.

Employment declined by an estimated 12,760 persons in October, and Maryland’s business payrolls also slipped, with job reductions in construction, manufacturing and several service-producing industries contributing to an overall decline of 1,600 jobs. Retail trade’s downswing, while not necessarily atypical, outstripped that of all other industries. The closing of multiple locations of Boscov’s in October contributed to a larger than anticipated reduction in this sector’s business activity. On the up side, the leisure and hospitality industry was the focal point of hiring activity over-the-month.

Despite the decline in employment in October, Maryland’s industry payrolls have added about 23,000 jobs since last October – a movement countering that of the nation, which saw a decline of nearly 1.1 million jobs over the past year.