A True Maryland Unemployment Story

The fact that Maryland’s unemployment number is at 6.4% for August (and higher than the national average) comes as no surprise to those who continue to be unemployed or underemployed. To them, that number may seem too small. It is.

The Federal Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) publishes data on unemployment each month. The standard unemployment figure does not count those who are underemployed or workers who have dropped out of the labor market because they have become discouraged. We all know someone who has just given up on finding a job or is working part-time but wants to work full-time. Those folks are not even counted in the traditional unemployment report.

BLS does publish a separate report that includes “alternative measure of labor underutilization” to give a more realistic picture of unemployment. If you look at the most recent BLS U-6 chart (counting total unemployment, plus underemployment and job market dropouts) covering the third quarter of 2013 through second quarter 2014 you’re in for a shock. Our U-6 figure is a staggering 11.7%.

That means that 11.7% of all Marylanders are either unemployed, underemployed or have just given up. Does 11.7% sound like economic recovery to you?

That’s not all of the bad news. A leading Maryland economist recently stated that Maryland led the nation in job losses for August and is currently ranked 44th nationally in year over year job growth.

“Governing for Results” has been a theme of Governor O’Malley’s tenure. These are not results you will see in any of his feel-good press releases. The O’Malley-Brown administration has proudly supported economic decisions that may feel good for liberals, but are very bad for Maryland.

The House Republican Caucus is consistent in its support of responsible state spending, as well as laws and regulations that support the businesses and workers of Maryland. We want every citizen to have the opportunity to work and be live their lives without the burden of ever-increasing taxes and regulations that have been imposed on them by Democrats. Our caucus continues to fight for you.

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