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January 2014

a closer look with daraius

unemploymnent down 6.1% imageThe Award for Most Improved Goes to…?

Maryland’s unemployment rate sank to 6.1 percent in December, down from 6.4 percent in November. Unfortunately, Maryland may not earn the award for “Most Improved Economy” until later in 2014, as the total labor force declined by 3,139 individuals in December 2013. Industries such as Health Care and Social Assistance experienced growth, but Construction felt the sting of continued snubs through December. However, employment increasing by 5,600 jobs in December does offer some hope for returning to the A-list for Maryland. This month’s Closer Look with Dr. Irani discusses the big winners, the continued snubs, and the potential for those snubbed to return to the limelight.

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in the news

spacer County Planning Board To Consider Gas Station Restrictions, WBAL, 1/2/2014

"The institute's executive director Dr. Daraius Irani says the county's current zoning restrictions which limit where gas stations can be located helps drive up prices."

Economists' forecasts for Maryland vary — from better growth to worse, Baltimore Sun, 1/12/2014

Daraius Irani, executive director of the Regional Economic Studies Institute at Towson, expects that manufacturing will continue to shed jobs in the state this year — in part, as employers continue to automate. But he thinks many other sectors will grow, from health care to tourism.

Business bankruptcies decline statewide again: But many people still feel like they are living in a recession, Gazette.net, 1/24/2014

“People feeling like the recession still lingers may be due in part to relatively poor employment numbers, said Daraius Irani, director of the Regional Economic Studies Institute’s applied economics and human services group at Towson University."

forecast

Marguiles Minimum Wage Cartoon

The Minimum Wage Debate

As the legislative session marches on, Maryland lawmakers and supporters are proposing to raise the minimum wage. A number of bills have been introduced that increase the minimum wage to as high as $12.50 per hour. At the current minimum wage rate of $7.25 per hour, a full-time worker would bring home approximately $15,000 a year—well below the poverty line of $23,050 for a family of four that is currently set by the federal government.

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