Oct 21, 2011

Md. adds 6,800 jobs in Sept., but unemployment rate ticks up to 7.4%

Maryland added 6,800 jobs in September, but the unemployment rate continued to climb to 7.4 percent, according to figures released Friday morning by the Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation. The state’s private sector led the job growth with 10,000 new positions last month. The federal government was also active, adding 2,100 jobs while local […]

Oct 16, 2011

Audit faults DLLR for lax computer security

Personal information about licenses and unemployment — including names, addresses, birth dates, credit card and Social Security numbers — was left relatively unguarded on computers at the Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation and may have been targeted for fraud, according to legislative auditors. The audit of DLLR’s Office of the Secretary, Division of Administration […]

Nov 16, 2010

Sarah Bloom Raskin urges mortgage servicing reforms

Sarah Bloom Raskin hasn’t been at her new job long, but she’s already making herself heard. The Senate confirmed Maryland’s former commissioner of financial oversight to a post on the Federal Reserve Board in September and she started work there on Oct. 4. Last week, Raskin said mortgage servicers are not doing enough to help […]

Sep 28, 2010

DLLR secretary takes heat for removing report

ANNAPOLIS — Gov. Martin O’Malley’s labor secretary said Tuesday it was his idea to seek the removal of all online traces of an internal economic report that he said was mistakenly posted on the department’s website. Alex Sanchez, the secretary of the Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation, said O’Malley did not ask him to […]

Aug 5, 2010

The ups and downs of stimulus accounting

From May to August, it appears Maryland lost about $100 million, give or take, in stimulus funds. Earlier this year, the state officials said Maryland was due $4.3 billion of the $787 billion stimulus spending package. But, when the state released its second quarter spending statistics, the award total was an estimated $4.2 billion. So […]

Mar 26, 2010

Going behind the numbers on the unemployment problem

Every month, the state reports unemployment statistics and every month, at least lately, the message that accompanies those statistics follows a formula, something like “things have gotten worse, but they’ve gotten worse less quickly than they have before, so that’s a good thing.” The numbers released by the state on Friday were made more interesting […]

Mar 23, 2010

Unemployment insurance bill passes House

Updated @ 2:20 p.m.: The House of Delegates passed an expansion of unemployment benefits Tuesday, the next-to-last step for legislation that will qualify the state’s bankrupt Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund for $126.8 million from the federal government. The measure passed mostly along party lines (the vote was 101-33 in the chamber, but the final tally […]

Mar 10, 2010

Economic indicators send mixed signals

Maryland’s revenue is, once again, coming in lower than first expected and unemployment is, once again, higher than it was before. Still, state officials see cause for optimism in the otherwise gloomy figures. The state is expected to write down $66 million in revenue shortfalls over the rest of fiscal year 2010, which ends June […]

Feb 24, 2010

DLLR secretary by day…

A mostly humdrum budget hearing held at least one interesting tidbit about newly confirmed labor Secretary Alexander M. Sanchez. His department – Labor, Licensing and Regulation – oversees everything from mortgage brokers to sports agents to barbers, and monitors the state’s financial sector and enforces workplace regulations. If that wasn’t enough, the department was respo[...]

Feb 17, 2010

The UI saga continues, for now

Maryland lawmakers have for weeks refereed a tennis match as labor and business groups volleyed unemployment insurance proposals back and forth. The senator running the show said Wednesday morning the game may finally be over. “I thought we had a very, very good deal on the table,” said Sen. Thomas M. “Mac” Middleton, D-Charles. “My […]

Feb 15, 2010

Misery loves company

Maryland is expected to tap a federal line of credit next week that will allow the state to keep paying unemployment benefits. When it does, it won’t be alone. As with the unemployment issue, state officials have benefited from tougher economic climates elsewhere as bases for comparison – the jobless rate in Michigan, the housing […]

Jan 21, 2010

Annapolis morning look, Jan. 21

Good morning, folks. Now that the governor’s budget has been read across the desks of the General Assembly, and the stacks of budget books distributed, focus shifts, at least a little bit, to some other issues in state government. Today we’ll get an update on foreclosures from the heads of the departments of Labor, Licensing […]

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