Jobs are Up, But Unemployment is Up…So What’s Up?

In August, Maryland added 5,500 jobs, yet the unemployment rate jumped to 4.3%.

New preliminary data released on September 16 by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) shows that last month Maryland added 5,500 jobs, while the unemployment rate climbed to 4.3%.

The BLS jobless report states:

In August, 16 states had over-the-month unemployment rate increases, the largest of which were in Connecticut, Maryland, and New York (+0.4 percentage point each). Thirty-four states and the District of Columbia had jobless rates that were not notably different from those of a month earlier, though some had changes that were at least as large numerically as the significant changes.

Maryland’s unemployment rate grew by .4% from July 2022 to August 2022, jumping to 4.3%.

Compared with August 2021, Maryland jobs are up by 72,400, an over-the-year increase of 2.7%, and overall, unemployment is down by 1.9% compared to this time last year.

Importantly, in August 13,400 individuals — many of whom are thought to have left the labor force during the COVID-19 pandemic — began looking for work again. This rise in individuals looking for work in-part one of the reasons for the increased unemployment rate. The Maryland Department of Labor notes that, “individuals are only considered unemployed if they do not have a job and are actively looking for work.”

Notably, July’s preliminary jobs estimates were revised upward by 2,000 jobs, from a gain of 12,000 jobs to a gain of 14,000 jobs.

In total, since January 2022, Maryland has gained 51,900 jobs.

Maryland adds more jobs, some sectors see quicker recovery than others

The Maryland Department of Labor outlined in the specific job gains by industry:

  • The manufacturing sector continues to trend upward with full jobs recovery as of August. This sector now employs more workers than before the pandemic.
  • The trade, transportation and utilities sector experienced the most growth with an increase of 3,200 jobs. trade, warehousing and utilities added 1,900), retail trade jobs climbed by 900 and wholesale trade sub-sectors jumped by 400 jobs.
  • Other sectors that experienced growth include:
    • professional and business services (1,700);
    • manufacturing (900);
    • education and health services other services (800);
    • financial activities (800);
    • information (500);
    • and other services (200).
  • Total jobs in the mining logging and construction sector remained the same.

The Leisure and Hospitality sector, however, decreased by 100 jobs.

Access the full BLS data.

Read the Maryland Department of Labor’s Press Release.