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Maryland 2024 Job Forecast

The Maryland Job forecast is based on information from trends seen in 2023 and economist forecasts.

2023 Look Back

Maryland’s unemployment rate reached 1.6% in September and only climbed one-tenth of a point in November to 1.7%. The rate is the lowest seasonally adjusted unemployment rate of any state since 1976. The labor force participation rate prior to the pandemic, was 67% and the rate is now 64% to 65% post-pandemic. The labor employment numbers are close, but still lower than we were pre-pandemic. The workforce has experienced families going to single income households or retiring early.

2024 Forecast

According to Chief Economists and the Bureau of Labor, it is predicted that Maryland will remain predominantly stable throughout 2024. They do believe there is a possibility of a “soft recession”.

The Positives

  • Maryland’s economy is strong, bolstered by a low unemployment rate, high productivity, and one of the lowest poverty rates in the nation – According to Comptroller Brooke E. Lierman.
  • Consumers were spending aggressively in the first quarter of 2024 on retail sales.
  • 9 million job openings in the U.S., and the economy just added another 353,000.
  • During 2023, inflation steadily fell as global supply chains were in recovery mode from the pandemic, allowing Maryland residents to take jobs.
  • Slowly rising pay increases ease the pressure on businesses to raise prices to offset high labor costs.
  • Labor Participation Rate (LPR) in Maryland fell from 69.3% in January 2020 to 65.2% in 2023, representing 181,000 workers who are no longer employed and no longer looking for work, and is still trending slowly downwards.

Areas of Concern

  • Of the 9 million open jobs nationally and the 353,000 jobs recently added, employers’ biggest problem may be attracting and keeping workers.
  • Costs are up for travel, shipping, delivery, shelter and food. They’re not up as much as they had been, but today’s rise is based on the highs from the worst of inflation.
  • Measured from a year ago today, overall prices of homes, food, cars and other items are at an increase of 2.6%.
  • National trends are negatively impacting the workforce and Maryland’s economic recovery, driving up costs, and driving away people who would raise their families here.
  • Maryland’s real GDP per capita has grown only 2.1% since the end of 2016, compared with 11.9% growth nationwide, 9.9% growth for Virginia, and 7.5% growth for Pennsylvania.*Information from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
  • Maryland is experiencing a labor shortage with labor participation failing to rebound
  • Maryland has historically had a Labor Participation Rate (LPR) that is traditionally higher than the national average.
  • The cost of housing is impacted by housing inventory – The median home price in Maryland was $411,200 compared to the national median home price of $348,600 in 2023.

Looking Ahead

Maryland is experiencing stagnant growth. To position Maryland for sustained economic growth in the long term, it’s crucial to implement strategic investments and innovative policy measures. This approach aims to bolster the state’s economy, fostering enduring prosperity and well-being for all residents.

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