The data on how Maryland’s job market fared in November is in, and it looks positive. The unemployment rate dropped to 4% in November from 4.1% the month before. The state also added 7,900 jobs in November, with the professional and business services industry leading those additions.
According to the figures the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics released on Dec. 21, November’s national unemployment rate was at 3.7%, the same percentage as the month before. Although Maryland’s rate is higher than the national average, it is lower than it was at this time last year, boding well for the state. Economists also say that this relatively low unemployment rate, which reflects a solid labor market, may be able to help the state withstand the budget uncertainty in the capital.
The state’s addition of jobs certainly points toward a positive economic outlook. Jobs in Maryland have increased by 36,700 since November 2017. The added jobs were in categories that included trade, transportation, and utilities, leisure and hospitality, education and health services, and government. As the entire civilian workforce in a location like Shasta County, California totaled 74,500 workers in 2017, Maryland’s statewide year-over increase easily provides jobs for multiple counties in the state.
While the basic numbers of employment are promising, recent data has shown that the quality of jobs in the nation could use some improvement. The Brookings Institution conducted an analysis of employment in the country’s 100 largest metropolitan areas. This analysis found that just one-third of workers without bachelor’s degrees held good or promising jobs in 2017. By the analysis’s definition, good jobs give middle-class pay and benefits and promising jobs provide pathways to good ones.
For those with a college degree, the numbers are practically inverted. As of 2016, over 33% of American adults held bachelor’s degrees, which leaves the majority of Americans falling into the category with the more dire statistics. Without a degree, most Americans need a specialized skill or a trade school diploma to find a good job. There are many different trade schools that create plenty of jobs, as evidenced by the Arizona’s 7,030 employed dental assistants in 2017. Maryland Labor Secretary Kelly M. Schulz has plans for the new year centered on creating a need for talent to keep the state’s growth going.
“Maryland’s workforce development programs meet that need by creating formal career paths to good jobs, reducing barriers to employment, providing occupational skills development, and so much more,” said Schulz.