The Maryland unemployment rate in December 2017 rose unexpectedly. An estimated 20,200 Maryland job losses occurred in December as the unemployment rate inched up to four percent from 3.9% in November. Meanwhile, the Maryland labor force declined by 14,776 to 3,230,359.
While Maryland’s unemployment rate in December 2017 remains bellows the 4.1% national average, the state experienced a rather large number of job losses across all major sectors in December. The biggest losses hit the professional and business services sector, which shed 6,000 jobs.
Other sectors that reported large job losses include trade, transportation and utilities, as well as leisure and hospitality, which both lost 2,900 jobs. The government sector reported 2,200 job losses, while education and health services shed 2,100 jobs. Job losses also hit mining, logging, and construction (-1,000); financial activities (-1,000); and other services (-2,200).
Why the sudden increase in Maryland job losses and unemployment is open for debate right now. The lack of a federal budget may be responsible for the loss of some jobs, since federal agencies do not have funds or are not sure what their budgets will be for fiscal 2018.
Of particular note, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics also recently revised downward the initial job gains in November to 4,900 from 5,400.
More broadly, since December 2016, Maryland has added 31,400 jobs, an increase of 1.1%. Broken down, that translates into only 2,616 new jobs per month.
Maryland’s Unemployment Rate in 2017: Last Increased in April
The last increase in Maryland’s unemployment rate was in April 2017; at the same time, the nation’s unemployment rate fell. In April, U.S. unemployment was down at 4.4%, while the unemployment rate in Maryland increased to 4.3% from 4.2% in March.
Maryland’s total labor force in April 2017 was 3,228,240, with 3,091,001 employed and 137,239 unemployed.
The Maryland county unemployment rate in April 2017 included Worchester County at 8.4%, Somerset at 6.5%, and Baltimore at 6.1%.
“Economy at a Glance,” U.S. Bureau Of Labor Statistics, last accessed January 24, 2018.
“Local Area Unemployment Statistics, Maryland,” U.S. Bureau Of Labor Statistics, last accessed January 24, 2018.
“Monthly Labor Review, April 2017,” Maryland Workforce Exchange, April 2017.