The Regional Economic Studies Institute (RESI) at Towson University is the source for the latest data and analysis on Maryland’s economy. Each month, RESI Chief Economist Dr. Daraius Irani provides an analysis of the latest Maryland unemployment numbers. His analysis ensures business leaders have key information needed to determine how Maryland’s economic status impacts their organization. RESI on the Economy is your source for the latest data and analysis of Maryland’s economy and employment numbers.

Christmas in July: Evergreen Employment/Christmas Came Early

We may be experiencing a summer heat wave with temperatures approaching 100˚F, but according to jobs numbers released Friday by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, it’s Christmas in July in Maryland. Preliminary employment data for June 2016 show that total private employment increased by 11,700 jobs, while total nonfarm employment increased by 9,800. Maryland’s unemployment rate fell 0.2 points from 4.5 to 4.3 percent, below the national unemployment rate of 4.9 percent. In Maryland, employment gains were spread across a variety of sectors, including merry gains in some that are usually Grinch-like. However, with May’s employment numbers revised downwards from an increase of 2,500 jobs to a decrease of 200, it appears that Scrooge still made at least a brief appearance at the holiday soirée. Even so, June’s numbers glow brightly.

Sugar Plum Sectors

A number of sectors had visions of sugar plums for their June jobs numbers. The largest increase over-the-month was seen in the Leisure and Hospitality supersector, which grew by 6,100 jobs in June, a 2.2 percent increase, as Marylanders gear up for their summer vacations. This supersector’s growth was fueled by a 3,100 job increase in the Arts, Entertainment, and Recreation sector and a 3,000 job increase in the Accommodation and Food Services sector. Leisure and Hospitality has also seen the greatest yearly job increases, expanding by 17,100 jobs since June 2015. Information, which often posts negative employment numbers due in large part to the changing media landscape, experienced an early Christmas miracle and added 2,900 jobs in June, an increase of 8.1 percent. Also claiming a spot in June’s top five industries is the Administrative and Support and Waste Management and Remediation, which added 3,200 jobs, an increase of 2.0 percent.

Bah Humbug!

Even with all of the summertime merriment in the latest jobs release, there were a few icy patches in the report. State government experienced the largest losses in June, dropping 3,000 positions, much like Charlie Brown’s tree drops needles. This decrease represented a loss of 2.8 percent. In fact, despite gains in both Local and Federal Governments, State Government’s contraction was large enough to pull the entire Government sector into the red, with a loss of 1,900 positions. Over the year, State Government has shed 5,600 jobs, or 5.0 percent, while Government as a whole has shrunk by 1,000 positions, or 0.2 percent. Other industries that experienced losses in June 2016 include Other Services, which lost 1,200 jobs, Financial Activities, which decreased by 700 jobs, and Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services, which contracted by 600 positions.

Evergreen Employment Growth?

The latest jobs release shows that Maryland’s employment situation for June 2016 was full of cheer, with growth across a wide array of industries and an unemployment rate better than the national average. As 2016 continues and the real holiday season eventually arrives in a one horse open sleigh, will Santa’s satchel contain employment gains, or will a frosty snowstorm cause jobs gains to freeze?