Maryland Lost 2,500 Jobs in August

… State’s unemployment rate rises to 7.3 percent …

By Jamie Smith Hopkins, The Baltimore Sun

10:37 AM EDT, September 16, 2011

Maryland lost 2,500 jobs in August, pushing the unemployment rate to 7.3 percent, the U.S. Department of Labor said Friday.

The reduction would have been worse if not for a 6,900-job gain in the government sector, largely at a local level, according to the estimates. The numbers are adjusted to account for normal seasonal changes in hiring and layoffs.

The state Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation said some of the private-sector losses were temporary. The jobs survey was taken during the two-week strike by Verizon Communications employees, which “disproportionately contributed” to the unusually large 4,400-job drop in the information sector, the state labor department said.

Maryland was one of 30 states, plus the District of Columbia, to shed jobs in August as the nation’s already low employment growth came to a standstill, the U.S. Department of Labor said. Maryland’s losses came after a strong July, when employers added 11,400 positions, according to the federal government’s revised estimates.

The unemployment rate in Maryland remains better than the nation’s, which was 9.1 percent in August. But the state’s unemployment picture has been steadily worsening, despite job gains in June and July. The rate, 7 percent in June, rose to 7.1 percent in July before jumping to 7.3 percent in August.

Copyright © 2011, The Baltimore Sun

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