Maryland’s economy is diverse and based on biosciences, services, and high technology, among other economic activities. It has a higher unemployment rate than the national average, and we’ll be telling you why.
Although Maryland’s unemployment rate improved in May 2022 from 4.2% to 4.0%, the national rate, which did not change in the last month, is still at 3.6%. This means the situation is improving, but the problem of unemployment is still worse in this state compared to most places in the USA. In this post, we will be looking at Maryland unemployment and the reasons for unemployment in that state.
How many people are unemployed in Maryland?
The number of people filing for unemployment benefits is used to measure unemployment in a state. Currently, there are close to 148,000 people filing for unemployment benefits in the state of Maryland. This contrasts with the 198,000 jobs available in the state. This means that there are more jobs than people looking for work in Maryland.
Reasons for Unemployment in Maryland
The main reason for unemployment in the state of Maryland is skills mismatch. Other reasons include relocations, voluntary departures, new entrants to the workforce, re-entrances to the workforce, technological advancement, job outsourcing, and business closures as a result of COVID 19.
Skill mismatch: According to the U.S. Bureau of Labour Statistics (BLS) and the State Department of Unemployment Insurance, Maryland has 198,000 unfilled jobs and 148,000 job seekers, meaning there are discrepancies between the skills that employers are looking for and the skills that individuals in the state have.
Relocations: The state has a very strong economy, which job seekers find attractive. It is near some of the largest cities in the United States and has great access to the outdoors. The net average inflow of new workers moving to the state from other states has been on a growth path over the years, giving rise to the number of people waiting to take up suitable jobs.
Voluntarily departures: Skilled employees who leave unfulfilling jobs in search of better opportunities and end up in the unemployed space for some time. Because they are searching, able, and available to work, they are counted as unemployed but may not qualify for unemployment benefits.
New workforce entrants: This applies to new college and high school graduates. Each year, fresh graduates enter the workforce looking for opportunities that fit their new skills and qualifications.
Re-entrance to the workforce: because of the economic downturn, some people who stopped looking for a job to start a business, raise children, take care of their elderly relatives, retire, or get married now want to get back to work to be able to sustain themselves.
Technological advancements: People who have been rendered redundant when their job roles are now being fulfilled by automated systems.
Job outsourcing: Companies moving to manufacture goods or have call centres in locations with cheaper labour costs to cut down on expenses.
COVID 19 closures: as a result of the global pandemic, several businesses scaled down or completely closed, leading to workers becoming unemployed.
What is the state of Maryland doing to address unemployment?
The state government has taken several measures to address unemployment, with mixed results. Examples of current measures include offering income tax credits to qualified private businesses that expand or relocate to Maryland; hiring qualified veterans; and pushing on with the “reset” practice of not requiring experienced workers to have a 4-year college degree, dubbed STAR, for public service jobs.
As a result, Maryland’s unemployment rate reduced to 4.0% in May 2022. This is the lowest it has been since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in early 2020. Over the last two years, Maryland has recovered 334,200 jobs, including 313,500 jobs added by the private sector.
However, not everyone is on board with all the measures. Getting Skilled Through Alternative Routes (STAR) personnel who are qualified by virtue of other means such as on-the-job training, military service, or community college programs measures has been criticized as “deskilling” the workforce.
Maryland’s unemployment issue is not unique to the state and is a challenge that every administration has had to deal with, as demonstrated by both the previous and current administration’s push on federal governments to lower education requirements for federal jobs. Arguably, the global pandemic just added pressure to an already challenging situation. It is expected that measures taken by the state government will continue to show positive effects and contribute to growth and recovery.
What is the main reason for unemployment in Maryland?
Skill mismatch is the main reason for unemployment in Maryland. There are more jobs available in the state than the number of people seeking employment but are unable to take up the jobs for lack of the required skills.
Where am I most likely to get a job in Maryland?
Currently, you are most likely to get a job in government, health care, education, or the construction sector.