Unemployment in Maryland increased again last month. And while we don't have unemployed standing in bread lines as shown in this 1910 photo, things could be better.
According to the Labor Department, unemployment in Maryland increased to 4.5 % from 4.3% in July. The increase in unemployment came despite an increase in overall employment of 1,800 jobs, all in the private sector. About 136,000 workers were unable to find jobs in the state.
This is still better than the nationwide picture, where the unemployment rate increased to 6.1 % last month. Some 600,000 jobs have been lost since the beginning of the year nationwide. In Maryland, by contrast, employment has grown by about 15,000 during the same period thanks largely to growth in the health sector.
Despite the relatively good employment numbers, though, lots of Marylanders are hurting. The combination of high energy and food prices and stagnating wages have pushed more and more Marylanders close to the edge. Food banks report they are experiencing high demand and are running low.
I haven't seen the August data for the Eastern Shore, but unemployment here has been running a little higher than the statewide rate for some time and, with the end of the summer season, it's likely to rise significantly as seasonal employment ends. With high energy prices and predictions by some of a relatively cold winter, it could be a difficult season for many here.