Maryland Creates 8,100 Jobs in February, Outperforms National Job Growth


Nine thousand more Marylanders employed today than one year ago; Unemployment rate declines for second consecutive month

BALTIMORE, MD (March 25, 2011) – Maryland added 8,100 jobs last month and recorded a 0.3 percent rate of growth, triple the national average, according to preliminary data released today by the U.S. Department of Labor. Across the nation, 192,000 jobs were created – a 0.1 percent rate of growth. Maryland’s unemployment rate improved for the second consecutive month, from 7.2 percent to 7.1 percent, and remains nearly two full percentage points better than the national average (8.9 percent). The number of employed Marylanders grew in February by nearly 3,200 – the sixth consecutive month of growth and the largest month-to-month gain since March 2010. Compared to a year ago, nearly 9,000 additional Marylanders are working today.

“February’s preliminary employment figures demonstrate that Maryland employers continue to outperform the rest of the nation and that we are uniquely positioned to transition into this new economy more quickly than other states,” said Governor Martin O’Malley. “Maryland employers added 8,100 jobs last month, tripled the national rate of job growth and for the second straight month drove down the rate of unemployment. Together, we are moving forward by making the right choices and the right investments to create jobs through innovation.”

“Governor O’Malley understands that opportunities are created by our challenges. Under his leadership and during a difficult national recession, Maryland has invested in a skilled workforce and prepared its workers to fill the jobs of the new economy,” said DLLR Secretary Alexander M. Sanchez. “Through our commitment to workforce training, apprenticeships, higher education and adult learning, we will continue building on our success and be among the nation’s leaders on the road to recovery.”

Maryland added 3,500 private sector jobs and the largest month-to-month gains were realized in the administrative and support services (2,000 jobs), arts, entertainment and recreation (1,600 jobs) and construction (1,000 jobs) sectors. Government added 4,600 jobs, including 3,200 in local government. Based on preliminary data made available today, this gain is largely driven by increased employment in higher education. The trade, transportation, warehousing and utilities sector declined by 1,000 jobs, the month’s largest sector decline.

February 2011 is Maryland’s eighth consecutive month of year-to-year job growth. The current job level is 43,400 above the February 2010 data. Private sector employers made up nearly 90 percent of this increase. The largest year-to-year increases were recorded in the health care and social assistance (10,600 jobs), retail trade (10,200 jobs), administrative and support services (8,300 jobs) and construction (4,200 jobs) sectors.

The U.S. Department of Labor also released today revised jobs data for January 2011, which adjusted month-to-month job losses in Maryland upward from -7,100 to -5,100.

Because of the O’Malley-Brown Administration’s investments in workforce training, higher education and skills development, Maryland is better positioned to recover from the national recession more quickly than most other states. DLLR leads several of the administration’s most successful skills development initiatives, including the Skills2Compete initiative. DLLR also oversees apprenticeship programs that provide workers with an opportunity to earn while they learn. Since February 2010, over 1,800 Marylanders have registered for apprenticeships and 1,360 have graduated – including more than 1,000 in the construction and building trades.

Secretary Sanchez and Tim Bibo, Jr. – a DLLR research analyst – will hold a conference call (888.282.0431; passcode 8946825) at noon today to provide an overview of the latest data and Maryland’s employment figures compared with other states. Reporters will have the opportunity to ask questions following immediately after the briefings.

The production of state and metropolitan area Current Employment Statistics (CES) estimates will transition from State Workforce Agencies to the BLS with the production of preliminary estimates for March 2011, which will be released on April 19, 2011. BLS will also implement several methodological changes to standardize the estimation approach across states. While these changes will reduce the potential for statistical bias in state and metropolitan area estimates, they may increase the month to month variability of the estimates. More detailed information on the changes to procedures for producing CES estimates is available on the BLS website.

Employment Situation