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Maryland Unemployment Ticks Up Despite 7,700 New Jobs

Jobs Help Wanted taken by photologue_np via flickr

According to preliminary data released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Maryland added 7,700 jobs in June.

Most of those—7,100—came from the private sector. But the unemployment rate rose slightly, to 5.8 percent. May’s unemployment rate was 5.6 percent. An unemployment rise can accompany new jobs if Marylanders employed in other states lose work.

Despite the 7,700 gain, Towson University economist Daraius Irani was somewhat disappointed. “I felt this way last year,” he said. “The same way last year. In fact, one of the articles [my staff and I are] putting together I had called ‘The Summertime Blues,’ and they reminded me that we’ve already used that title last year at this exact same time.”

A chunk of the gains came in the Leisure and Hospitality sector, which added 2,100 jobs. But Irani noted that these are typically lower-paying, part-time positions. “People have asked why doesn’t this recovery feel like a recovery, and one of the things we’ve found out through our research is the percentage of people who are working in part-time jobs has gone up," he said of national trends. "It used to be about 16 percent of the jobs were part time, and now it’s about 20 percent. “

On his department website, Maryland Labor, Licensing and Regulation Secretary Leonard Howie said, “Our investments in skills development and training are helping to put more Marylanders back to work. The Maryland Department of Labor remains focused on accelerating hiring and job growth."