What Does the New Federal COVID Action Plan Mean for Maryland’s Counties?

On September 9, the Biden administration announced a new COVID-19 Action Plan, featuring new administrative and regulatory actions to improve vaccination rates across the country. Of the six components to the new plan, titled, “The Path Out of the Pandemic,” at the forefront for county governments is a vaccine mandate for all federal agencies, federal contractors, and employers with 100 or more employees in the 28 states that participate in the Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health…

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Some Pandemic Quick Fixes Might Have Staying Power

As counties continue to learn from the COVID pandemic, some creative solutions might be here to stay.  At the 2021 MACo Summer Conference session, “Are Some Pandemic Quick Fixes Here to Stay? A Longer-Term Look at Short-Term Solutions,” attendees considered the benefits and challenges of a range of "quick fix" solutions enacted during the pandemic, namely telework and to-go goods and services. The session was moderated by Delegate Christopher Adams of District 37B (Caroline, Dorchester, Talbot, & Wicomico…

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The Changing Future of Work in a Post-Pandemic World

The McKinsey Global Institute has released a comprehensive report on the future of work in a post-COVID-19 world. The report makes it clear that the pandemic will have seismic changes on the world of work and employers must adapt with the times to be able to recruit and retain the best possible employees. Counties spend the vast majority of their operating budgets on personnel costs, so this is every bit as true for county governments as…

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Pandemic Spending Workgroup to Review MD Labor COVID Relief Programs

Maryland Department of Labor will provide details on COVID relief aid. The Comptroller's Workgroup on Pandemic Spending will hold its third meeting on Thursday, July 29, at 1:30 p.m. to continue its review of state and federal COVID-related spending. David McGlone, deputy secretary for the Maryland Department of Labor, will overview pandemic relief programs funded by state or federal dollars and administered by the department. As previously reported on Conduit Street, the Comptroller’s Workgroup on Pandemic Spending…

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Maryland to Reopen American Job Centers for In-person Services

Physical Locations Reopening to Provide Comprehensive In-Person Employment, Training, and Business Services Maryland Department of Labor Secretary Tiffany P. Robinson today announced that the state’s 32 American Job Centers (AJCs), which served thousands of job seekers and businesses virtually during the COVID-19 pandemic, are now reopening physical locations to provide in-person services. Maryland’s network of AJCs offers comprehensive employment, training, and business services that play a critical role in helping job seekers and employers fully…

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Despite National Gains, Maryland’s Economic Recovery Wobbles

For the first time in 13 months, Maryland lost 6,400 jobs in June. The state's unemployment rate ticked up to 6.2 percent, according to preliminary data from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics. Nationally, nonfarm payrolls increased 850,000 for the month, which beat expectations. The national unemployment rate, however, rose to 5.9%. “Today’s jobs report is further evidence of the ongoing challenges our state’s economy is facing due to a serious labor…

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MD’s Planned Fed Unemployment Cutoff Faces Lawsuits, Uncertainty

Governor Hogan's decision to stop Maryland's participation in federal supplements to unemployment benefits faces lawsuits to stop his decision, with the planned cutoff date fast approaching. Last month, Governor Hogan announced his intention to suspend Marylanders' receipt of federally-supported unemployment benefit add-on payments - citing concerns that the additional payments contributed to employers' difficulty in hiring and re-hiring. That decision has come under fire, with employee groups filing suit to compel the State to continue…

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Montgomery County’s Minimum Wage Increases July 1

On July 1, the minimum wage in Montgomery County will increase to $15 for employers with 51 or more employees and $14 for employers with 50 or fewer employees; a small employer, with 10 or fewer employees, is required to pay $13.50 hourly. As previously reported on Conduit Street, Montgomery County will raise the minimum wage incrementally, each July 1, until it reaches $15 per hour in 2022. The number of workers employed by the business will…

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Maryland Unemployment Rate Continues to Fall

Maryland gained 11,500 jobs in May and unemployment rate fell to 6.1 percent, according to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics. According to The Daily Record: This is the 13th consecutive month of job growth in Maryland. Since the beginning of 2021, Maryland has gained a total of 41,200 jobs. The education and health services sector experienced the most growth, with an increase of 4,700 jobs from the health care and social…

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City Leadership to Hogan: Reinstate Federal Unemployment Boost

Baltimore City Mayor Brandon M. Scott, City Council President Nick J. Mosby, and City Comptroller Bill Henry this morning sent a letter to Governor Larry Hogan urging him to reverse his decision to halt federally-funded unemployment benefits. As previously reported on Conduit Street, the governor earlier this month announced that Maryland will discontinue its participation in pandemic unemployment programs that enhance benefits, including the extra $300 weekly payments and coverage for the self-employed. According to…

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