Maryland Unemployment Rate Improves to 6.5 Percent, Lowest in Three Years


Maryland adds 5,000 jobs in January, fifth straight month of job growth

39,800 positions added since January 2011, 82% in private sector

BALTIMORE, MD (March 13, 2012) - Data released today by the U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that Maryland added 5,000 jobs in January and the state's unemployment rate improved to 6.5 percent, the lowest unemployment rate since January 2009 and nearly two full percentage points better than the national average. January was the fifth straight month of job growth and the fifth straight month that the unemployment rate improved. During 2011, Maryland added 39,800 jobs, 32,600 of which are in the private sector, for the largest over-the-year job increase for the month since January 2005-2006.

"This report is evidence of a strong 2011 and a sign that our investments in workforce training and education are continuing to pay off," said Maryland Labor Secretary Alexander M. Sanchez. "Since the start of 2011, 33,897 more Marylanders are working and 24,630 fewer of our neighbors are unemployed. These numbers reflect Governor O'Malley's investments in protecting our workforce and positioning our state to compete effectively in the New Economy."

Almost all the job growth was centered in the private sector, which increased by 4,900 jobs over-the-month. Maryland added jobs in several industries, including 3,000 in Natural Resources, Mining, and Construction; 1,700 in Trade, Transportation, Warehousing, and Utilities; and 1,200 in Leisure and Hospitality.

Nearly all major private-sector industries have seen gains since January 2011. Notable increases posted in Education, Health Care, and Social Assistance (12,000 jobs), Leisure and Hospitality (6,500 jobs), Professional and Business Services (5,800 jobs; 7 out of every 10 jobs gained were in the Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services subsector), and Natural Resources, Mining, and Construction (4,700). Job growth in the government sector increased by 7,200 over the year, including 5,600 federal jobs, some of which may have been the result of BRAC.

Secretary Sanchez will brief the media on the January 2012 jobs report during a conference call at noon today (call-in: 800-619-4425; passcode: 7016775).

The Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation protects and empowers Marylanders by safeguarding workers, protecting consumers, providing a safety net and cultivating a thriving workforce that can meet the demands of Maryland’s dynamic economy. Follow DLLR on Twitter (@MD_DLLR) and Facebook.

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