Secrets of the Job Hunt


Friday, September 05, 2008

Maryland Job Market Fairs Better than Most States’

Although Maryland’s jobless rate increased almost half a percentage point in July, the state’s employment situation continues to be better than most in the nation. Many economists believe that the existence of a large quantity of federal government jobs help to protect the area from the strife experienced elsewhere.

According to the U.S. Department of Labor Maryland’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate reached 4.4 percent in July, jumping from 4 percent in June. Agency statistics show that only 3.6 percent of residents were without work during the same time period last year.

Secretary Thomas E. Perez of the state’s Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation said that the increase in unemployment was likely caused by the fact that fewer companies are hiring. With more people entering the Maryland job market, this made it more difficult for all of those searching for employment in the area.

"The deterioration in national economic conditions clearly continues to take its toll on Maryland's job market," said Perez.

Although Maryland’s job situation may be beginning to see the first signs of strain, economist Anirban Basu, who is the chairman and CEO of Baltimore economic and policy consulting firm Sage Policy Group, said that the difference between the state and national unemployment rate remains unusually large.

“Maryland continues to enjoy one of the nation’s lowest unemployment rates thanks to federal government jobs, federal contracting and health care sector,” Basu said.

He believes that Maryland’s unemployment rate will continued to increase for the remainder of the year until it reaches around 5 percent towards the end of 2008. The national rate is expected to be somewhere around 6 percent at the time.

Private-sector job creation dropped by 500 jobs between June and July. During the same time period government nonfarm jobs grew by 1,600 new employees. Industries that increased their payrolls included professional services, health care and leisure and hospitality. Reflecting the national trend, construction and manufacturing declined.

No comments: