Friday Five | June 4, 2021

A recap of this week’s top-five news items and resources from the intersection of business and government.

1. Hogan says Maryland will end extra $300 weekly payments and other federal unemployment programs

On Tuesday, Governor Hogan announced that effective July 3, Maryland will end the extra $300 unemployment weekly payments and other federal pandemic unemployment programs. Most federal programs were extended until September under the American Rescue Plan Act, passed by Congress in March, but several states have announced that they will end them earlier. Maryland is the 24th state to do so. In addition to cutting off the weekly $300 payments, the three other programs to be discontinued include:

To read more, click here.

Shortly after states announced they would end federal UI benefits prematurely, job search activity on Indeed increased relative to the national trend in May, according to an article published by Indeed Hiring Lab. A state’s share of national clicks on job postings was nearly 5% higher on announcement day, relative to a baseline of the last two weeks of April. The increase was the greatest for marketing, sales, hospitality and tourism jobs.

To read more, click here.

2. U.S. Chamber of Commerce: Worker shortage crisis deepening  

On Tuesday, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce (USCC) released a report showing the worker shortage crisis in the U.S. has continued to worsen. The report showed a record of 8.1 million vacant jobs in March in the U.S., an increase of 600,000 positions from February. However, the number of available workers per job (1.4 workers per job) has become half of what the national average has been for the past 20 years and the ratio continues to fall, according to the USCC.

“More than 90 percent of state and local chambers of commerce say worker shortages are holding back their economies, and more than 90 percent of industry association economists say employers in their sectors are struggling to find qualified workers for open jobs,” the USCC wrote.

To read more, click here.

3. May jobs report released: Hiring picks up with 559K jobs added with unemployment dipping to 5.8%

Although economists had expected roughly 671,000 new jobs, the 559,000 jobs added in May represent a significant step up from April’s disappointing 266,000 new jobs. The Labor Department also reports the unemployment rate at 5.8 percent, down from 6.1 percent in April. The latest figures indicate a steadily improving labor market, although one that’s not recovering as quickly as President Biden would like. More than half the jobs added are in leisure and hospitality, indicating a recovery in the hardest hit sector of the economy.

“The May jobs report was a major improvement over April’s, but we’re still not in full-speed-ahead mode,” said Robert Frick, corporate economist at Navy Federal Credit Union. Read the full story here.

4. The threat of inflation looms. How will it affect MD’s post-pandemic recovery? 

The Federal Reserve has kept interest rates at near-zero for some time, but with the price of commodities and everyday items rising, it is unclear how much longer that will be the case. Economists seem to agree that the threat of inflation is looming, which has already begun to impact stocks and oil prices. Our federated partner, the Washington County Chamber of Commerce, told that “the threat of inflation on Maryland’s post-pandemic economic recovery will most negatively impact those who are at or below the poverty level, as well as the ‘middle class’ taxpayers, in our state.” To also read what our federated partners, the Howard County Chamber of Commerce and the Frederick County Chamber of Commerce, had to say about the impact of inflation would have on our state, click here.

5. Maryland Chamber Foundation’s Teacher Externship Program grows by 766% in 2021

On Wednesday, we announced the launch of our Maryland Chamber Foundation’s 2021 Teacher Externship Program, pairing 25 Maryland educators with local businesses providing hands-on experience that will help their students transition into the workforce. The program grew from three participating teachers in 2020 to 25 teachers in 2021, representing a growth of 766%. This paid externship bridges the gap between businesses and educators, providing teachers with valuable technical and career pipeline knowledge that will help shape our future workforce.

“Our teacher externships have become the flagship program for the Maryland Chamber Foundation as we work to drive solutions in education, talent pipeline and workforce development,” said Steve Woerner, chairman of the Maryland Chamber Foundation’s board of directors and president and chief operating officer of BGE. “Building this bridge between educators and businesses opens up a wealth of opportunity for thousands of Maryland high schoolers as they make critical career and life decisions.”

Read our official press release here.

WEBINAR | Architects of Opportunity: Maryland Chamber Foundation Teacher Externship Program – Join us on June 23 at 11 a.m. for a webinar discussion led by the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond as they explore how bridges are built between educators and Maryland businesses to help shape the workforce of the future.

Register Here







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