Employment Situation - August 2011


Unemployment rate rises slightly, still 1.8 percentage points better than national average
Maryland Labor Secretary urges quick passage of American Jobs Act
President Obama's proposed legislation would create or save 18,200 Maryland jobs

BALTIMORE, MD (September 16, 2011) - The U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics released state payroll job and employment data earlier today. According to the preliminary data, Maryland shed 2,500 jobs in August. Maryland unemployment rate, 1.8 percentage points better than the national average, rose modestly to 7.3 percent - still among the lowest rates in the country.

Despite job losses across most supersectors, the state did add 1,200 jobs in the Natural Resources/Mining/Construction industry, 600 in Manufacturing and 500 in Educational/Health Care/Social Assistance. The state added 6,900 government positions in August, including 6,600 in local government. Since January, Maryland has added 14,700 jobs. The largest job declines were seen in the Information sector (-4,400). The since-resolved Verizon labor dispute disproportionately contributed to job losses in that sector.

"August was a softer month along Maryland's road to recovery. While our unemployment rate remains 1.8 percentage points better than the national average, we still shed 2,500 jobs in August and saw our unemployment rate tick up modestly," Maryland Labor Secretary Alexander M. Sanchez said. "Governor O'Malley is leading efforts in Maryland to position our state more competitively for the New Economy. Because of his leadership and the tough choices he's made, we survived the national recession better than others. Still, the hundreds of thousands of Marylanders and the millions of Americans looking for work need help now. More than ever, it's vital that our Congressional leaders come together right away and pass President Obama's jobs bill."

The August jobs report was released a little more than a week after President Barack Obama's speech before a joint session of Congress outlining the American Jobs Act. The President's proposal, which includes an initiative based on the successful HIRE Tax Credit to small businesses that hire unemployed workers for new positions, will create or save 18,200 jobs in Maryland. Since the program launched in March 2010, more than 900 employers have hired nearly 2,000 unemployed workers through the Maryland HIRE Tax Credit.

The American Jobs Act would provide nearly $542 million to support 6,000 educational and first responder jobs in Maryland, more than $625 million for infrastructure improvements that would support 8,100 local jobs and nearly $316 million for school construction that would support up to 4,100 jobs. The President's plan also proposes reforms to the nation's unemployment insurance system, including an extension of unemployment insurance benefits that would prevent 17,600 Marylanders from losing their benefits after just six weeks.

he Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation protects and empowers Marylanders by safeguarding workers, protecting consumers, providing a safety net and cultivating a thriving workforce that can meet the demands of Maryland’s dynamic economy. Follow DLLR on Twitter (@MD_DLLR) and Facebook.

Employment Situation