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September 2017

Latest Jobs Report Analysis

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On Friday, the Bureau of Labor Statistics released its preliminary employment estimates for Maryland in August 2017. For the fourth straight month, Maryland’s unemployment rate fell by a tenth of a percent where it now sits at 3.9 percent. Maryland’s labor force grew by roughly 5,000 people and the number of unemployed residents fell by 2,000. To find out what sectors of Maryland’s economy benefitted from the strong August economy, read this month’s discussion on the newest jobs data.

RESI in the News

Jobs in Services, Computers, Health Care Biggest Gainers in Maryland Since the Great Recession
The Baltimore Sun, 09/03/2017

While recession recovery has seen job growth in several industries, the economy and workforce has changed. For instance, lower-wage jobs are experiencing significantly more growth than middle-wage jobs. Meanwhile, employers are finding a labor shortage for specialized jobs. Dr. Daraius Irani of Towson University stated, “The number of jobs with low wages created post-recession far exceeds the number in middle-income that were created.” In addition, Dr. Irani commented that, “Work force shortages will drive firms to figure out how to do things without workers,” noting the trend in businesses switching to automation.

Trade Associations Names Maryland a Hot Spot for Internet Businesses
The Frederick News-Post, 08/27/2017

Maryland was recently ranked fourth in the nation in the Internet Association’s “Ease of Doing Internet Business Report.” Dr. Daraius Irani of Towson University’s Regional Economic Studies Institute commented that Maryland’s highly-educated workforce and numerous educational institutions help to develop cybersecurity and information technology skills in the state. Irani also stressed the importance of internships and apprenticeships at technology companies to facilitate an education-to-workforce pipeline.

Gas Prices Expected to Rise after Hurricane Harvey Strikes Texas Coast
Fox News 45, 08/27/2017

Gas prices are expected to increase as a result of Hurricane Harvey’s impact in the Gulf Coast, home of many refineries that provide fuel for the mid-Atlantic region. According to the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement, 86 offshore facilities were evacuated in anticipation of Harvey. Dr. Daraius Irani, Chief Economist at Towson University’s Regional Economic Studies Institute commented, “If refineries are offline for an extended period of time that could impact the supply of gasoline to the Baltimore region.”

Irma Could Affect Local Food Prices
Fox News 45, 09/12/2017

The damage caused by Hurricanes Irma will likely be reflected in grocery stores soon, with food prices expected to increase as a result of crop losses. According to Dr. Daraius Irani of Towson University’s Regional Economic Studies Institute, “We definitely expect to see food prices, especially produce prices, begin to rise in the short term.” On a positive note, Irani added, “People may begin to realize that maybe they can buy fresh fruit that’s in season here in Maryland at a farmer's market rather than try to buy something that may be a bit more pricey at the supermarket."

Towson University, 7400 York Road, Towson MD 21204

resi@towson.edu | 410-704-7374

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