Maryland Unemployment Rate Drops to 7.5% in April


Decline is First since December 2007; Job Growth for February-April Period is Highest in 20 Years

BALTIMORE, MD (5/21/10) - Alexander M. Sanchez, Secretary of Labor, Licensing and Regulation, announced today that Maryland's unemployment rate in April declined by two-tenths of a percentage point to 7.5 percent - marking the first monthly decline in the state's jobless rate since December 2007.

Maryland's unemployment rate is now approximately 25 percent below the national rate, which rose to 9.9 percent from 9.7 percent last month.

Industry payrolls added 8,200 jobs on a seasonally adjusted basis, the second consecutive month of net job growth. It was the first time since December 2007-February 2008 that Maryland payroll employment increased in consecutive months.

The addition of an estimated 36,800 net payroll jobs from February through April is the largest gain in jobs in Maryland for that period since the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics began keeping seasonally adjusted employment data in 1990.

"Seeing the unemployment rate go down is certainly good news, and the payroll numbers show more of the growth we've been looking for as a firm sign of economic recovery in our State," Secretary Sanchez said.

"Job creation in some of the sectors that were hardest hit in the downturn - particularly construction, manufacturing, and leisure and hospitality - has trended upward for the past three months.

"Resident employment growth was strong enough last month to both absorb the influx of new job-seekers into the labor force and reduce the number of unemployed Marylanders," Secretary Sanchez added.

Leisure/hospitality (up 7,100) and education/health services (up 3,200) were the top performers in private sector job growth during April.

Overall, nearly 12,800 Marylanders found employment in April while the number of unemployed residents fell by an estimated 6,600 - the first month-over-month decline in that number since January 2008.

Initial claims for unemployment benefits in Maryland fell 11.6 percent month over month to 28,738 - a decline of 41 percent from the peak reached in December 2009.

Employment Situation