Maryland Unemployment Reaches Lowest Level Since COVID

In May of 2022, Maryland saw a significant uptick in hiring resulting in a dip in unemployment. The state currently sits at its lowest unemployment rate since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Updated employment data released by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) on June 17 showed that Maryland gained 10,500 jobs in May and that the unemployment rate decreased to 4% — the lowest unemployment rate since the beginning of the COVID-19…

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The Four-Day Work Week: All the Wage?

Across the world, communities are grappling with worker dissatisfaction, hiring and retention challenges, and new demands in the workplace. To meet the moment, employers are getting creative with the benefits and workplace environments they are offering. One such new trend is the trial of a four-day work week.  Shorter, fully-paid work weeks are becoming trendy pilots around the country to offer employees greater work-life-balance, more flexibility, and added benefits during a particularly competitive employment market. Models vary, with some…

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Here’s How Other States Are Addressing Teacher Shortages

Like Maryland, states across the country are grappling with staffing shortages and challenges in public education. Here, we explore some of the unique policies states are considering to address teacher hiring and retention. Teachers are leaving the profession at a concerning rate around the country, and hiring new education staff remains a major challenge. Combined with the ongoing challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, local education agencies (LEAs) are facing a perfect storm scenario around the…

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Webinar: Strengthening America’s Workforce with Recovery Funds

The National Association of Counties (NACo) is hosting a May 4 webinar on how counties can use COVID recovery resources for hiring and retention. The May 4 webinar will focus on "how counties are using ARPA dollars to tackle the labor shortage, connecting people to good jobs, expanding childcare services and fostering a strong national workforce that meets the needs of residents through local government service." https://twitter.com/NACoTweets/status/1521151815546511360   Speakers include: Lindsey Graham, Child Care Coordinator,…

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2022 End of Session Wrap-Up: Employee Benefits and Relations

The segments below provide a brief overview of MACo’s work in the area of employee benefits and relations in the 2022 General Assembly.  MACo advocates for fair state laws governing employment practices, labor representation, and employer-employee relationships. MACo becomes particularly engaged when a proposal has a disproportionate or unique effect on public sector employees – frequently those affecting public safety employees or other public workers who engage in sensitive and essential functions. The unique circumstances…

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2022 Baltimore City YouthWorks Program to Launch in July

Baltimore City Mayor Brandon Scott is set to launch the City's 2022 YouthWorks program in July. On March 25, Mayor Scott issued a “call-to-action” to encourage area employers to participate in the City’s summer jobs program, YouthWorks (YW). YouthWorks has been one of the Mayor's Office of Employment Development’s (MOED) signature programs for over 30 years. “Baltimore youth want to work and are ready to help our local businesses soar. I urge area employers to plan for…

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Montgomery Libraries Offer Free Job Seeking and Entrepreneurial Workshops throughout April

Montgomery County Public Libraries will offer free online workshops for job seekers and entrepreneurs through its H.I.R.E. (Helping Individuals Reach Employment) program. Montgomery County Public Libraries (MCPLS) is offering online workshops and one-on-one sessions geared toward assisting job seekers and entrepreneurs throughout the month of April. All workshops are free and offered virtually. H.I.R.E Session details When: Throughout April, every Monday: 9:30-11:30 a.m. Sign up to meet virtually/confidentially one-on-one with a career counselor for advice and assistance with…

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Counties Opposed to Potential Prohibitions Limiting Ability to Set Qualification Standards in Hiring

On January 27, 2022, Associate Director Brianna January submitted written testimony to the Senate Finance Committee in opposition of SB 66 Labor and Employment - Hiring - Education Requirements (Give Me A Chance - Job Opportunities Act of 2022). This bill would prohibit counties, as employers, from using level of educational achievement, such as high school or college degree, as a qualifying factor for employment or internal advancement. While the bill does offer some language exempting…

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State Unemployment Drops to Lowest Rate Since Start of Pandemic

In December, Maryland continued its uptick in hiring, lowering the State's unemployment rate to its lowest since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Updated employment data released by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) on January 25 showed that Maryland gained 4,700 jobs in October and that the unemployment rate decreased to 5% — the lowest unemployment rate since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. In total, Maryland saw a drop of…

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State Fights COVID Surge with $100 Million in Emergency Funding

Maryland will adopt several measures, including the release of $100 million in emergency funding, to combat a recent surge in COVID-19 infections. In addition to committing $100 million toward urgent staffing needs at Maryland hospitals and nursing homes, the days and hours of operations at community testing sites will be expanded and the National Guard will be providing staffing support. Another $30 million will be provided to schools to purchase testing resources. Governor Larry Hogan discussed steps…

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