State labor shortage blamed for June report showing thousands of lost jobs, rise in unemployment

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Posted at 2:40 PM, Jul 16, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-16 15:45:05-04

ANNAPOLIS, Md. — Maryland lost 6,400 jobs and saw the unemployment rate rise to 6.2 percent in June, according to a new report released by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The report ends 13 consecutive months of job growth in the state.

Labor Secretary Tiffany Robinson said it's not because a lack of available jobs.

“Today’s jobs report is further evidence of the ongoing challenges our state’s economy is facing due to a serious labor shortage,” said Robinson. “Businesses across the state are hiring and jobs are available. In fact, there are over 250,000 jobs available on the Maryland Workforce Exchange alone, which is the most job postings of any month in the past 5 years."

The Professional and Business Services sector suffered the steepest decline at 9,700 followed by Mining, Logging, and Construction at 1,800, Manufacturing at 1,100, and Trade, Transportation, and Utilities at 500 jobs lost.

The report comes days after a judge issued an injunction against Robinson and Governor Larry Hogan, forcing them to continue paying out enhanced federal unemployment benefits through the first week of September.

READ MORE:Judge grants preliminary injunction preventing Gov. Hogan from ending federal unemployment benefits in Maryland

State officials argued the benefits were making it harder for employers to find workers.

Starting July 18, the state will require federal unemployment benefit recipients to actively search for work in order to get paid.

SEE ALSO: Maryland to require federal unemployment benefit recipients to look for work in order to get paid

"I strongly encourage job seekers to visit or connect with their local American Job Center to explore the countless job opportunities available,”said Robinson.