Unemployment in Maryland was down but not out in April, as state figures released yesterday showed another marked increase in the number of people employed in Maryland.
The April jobless rate's 0.4 percent decline, to 5.6 percent, meant that unemployment had fallen in Maryland for two months in a row.
In March, the unemployment dropped 0.5 percent.
The numbers still leave Maryland's job market more anemic than a year ago. In April 1990, unemployment was 3.6 percent.
But the consecutive monthly decreases were another indication of the beginning of the end of Maryland's recession.
"Improved employment conditions were evident throughout the state," said J. Randall Evans, secretary of the Department of Economic and Employment Development. "Twenty of Maryland's 23 counties and Baltimore City recorded declines in their estimated unemployment rates."
The good news was bolstered by the fact that the number of unemployment claims continued to fall.
In the week that ended May 25, the latest for which figures are available, DEED's Office of Labor Market Analysis and Information reported that continued claims fell to 53,977 from 57,671 the week before. In the week that ended May 4, the number was 60,051.
DEED also reported yesterday that 30,200 more people were employed in April than the month before, for a total of 2.39 million workers. The number of unemployed people fell to 141,684 from 149,669 in March, according to DEED.
In Baltimore, unemployment fell to 8.6 percent from 9.3 percent in March. The trend was mirrored in the Baltimore metropolitan region, where the jobless rate fell 0.6 percent in April, to 6.2 percent.
The jobless rate fell in every jurisdiction in the state except Prince George's County, which remained steady at 4.4 percent, and Wicomico and Cecil counties (2.4 percent and 2.9 percent increases, respectively).
The biggest employment gains were seen in the construction industry, with 3,500 new jobs, mostly in special trades and heavy contractors, and the service industries, where about 2,100 new people were added to the employment rolls in agricultural services, hotels and amusements, DEED reported.