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Eye on the Economy: An Interactive Look at Maryland and the Regional Economy in September 2020

Interactive Look at Maryland and the Regional Economy

• The most recent jobs report showed that between August and September, Maryland gained a total of 18,200 Total Nonfarm jobs.

• The official unemployment rate for Maryland increased to 7.2 percent.

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RESI in the News

Maryland unemployment rate dips to 6.9% as economy shows slow signs of recovery
The Baltimore Sun, 9/18/2020
From July to August, Maryland’s unemployment rate dropped a percentage point from 7.9 percent to 6.9 percent. While the travel industry continues to suffer due to COVID-19 related restrictions, the leisure and hospitality sector saw sizable growth in August. RESI Chief Economist Daraius Irani says that Marylanders should be prepared for a slow economic recovery—one that resembles the shape of a “Nike swoosh” rather than the anticipated “V-shape” recovery. Irani went on to predict that the U.S. economy may not fully recover until 2023 or 2024.

"It does need to be reimagined." What Does the Future Hold for Baltimore's Harborplace?
FOX Baltimore, 10/05/2020
Summary: With the COVID-19 pandemic exacerbating economic difficulties in Baltimore’s Inner Harbor, over a dozen storefronts have closed down in the area over recent years, leaving behind empty retail space and room for innovation. When it comes to one of the key locations, Harborplace, RESI Chief Economist Daraius Irani notes that Baltimore City owns the land but not the buildings, and so they cannot start on future plans until the Harborplace goes into receivership. In reference to this conundrum, Irani explains, “The company that owns it and runs it still owns it, but until basically their bankruptcy is resolved they don’t have the funds to put money into it and the same thing with the city. The city can’t do anything with it because it’s not been resolved as to who will be the final owner of it.” Irani suggests that once the legal issues are resolved, the development of Harborplace will be an opportunity to increase appeal to both tourists and residents.

Analysis: Staggers Rail Act deregulation has enabled rail industry to thrive even during times of national crisis
The Center Square, 10/10/2020
October marks the fortieth anniversary of the Staggers Rail Act that deregulated the American railroad industry. Since the law was passed, the freight rail sector has recovered from the edge of collapse to become a much more healthy and stable industry. Research by the Regional Economic Studies Institute found that in 2017, railroad operations and capital investment for Class I railroads supported more than 1.1 million jobs, $219.5 billion in economic output, and $71.3 billion in wages. It also supported more than $26 billion in total annual tax revenue.

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