The state of employment in Maryland

The Maryland Chamber Foundation supports sustainable solutions that drive Maryland’s future economy including: talent, education, innovation, economic diversity, infrastructure, business climate, governance and quality of life.


(August 24, 2018—ANNAPOLIS, Md.) Maryland touts the slogan, “We’re Open for Business,” but are we living up to it?  Maryland’s unemployment rate has remained steady over the past few months at 4.3 percent, not far off from the national unemployment rate of 3.9 percent.

In July, there was a total addition of 5,300 jobs in the state. Even so, job growth in Maryland is lagging behind national job growth. It is important, however, to look back at employment trends over the past year to get a better picture of which industries and sectors are doing better than others. A longer timeline can also help predict what is to come for employment in Maryland.

Kara Markley, a regional economist from the U.S. Department of Labor – Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that as of July 2018, “Maryland total nonfarm employment increased by 28,400 jobs since July 2017, an increase of one percent.”

When looking at over-the-year changes, it is best to use non-seasonally adjusted data she noted.

The industry super sectors that added the most jobs over the year are: professional and business services, which added 19,300 jobs from July 2017 through July 2018, a 4.3 percent increase; and education and health services, which added 7,400 jobs in the same timeframe, a 1.6 percent increase.

The industry super sector that lost jobs in Maryland over the year is financial activities, which lost 7,300 jobs from July 2017 through July 2018, a 4.9 percent decrease.

Looking nationally, professional and business services grew at a rate of 2.6 percent and education and health services grew 1.6 percent since July 2017.

“Within professional and business services, the growth in Maryland was spread across most of the industry sectors. Within education and health services, nearly all of the jobs added were in ambulatory health care services [increased by 6,600 jobs]. In financial activities, insurance carriers and related jobs were down 2,700 and credit intermediation jobs were down 2,100 over the year,” Markley added.

Looking forward, the Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation (DLLR) projects that the top two growing industries will be healthcare & social assistance and construction in the state from 2016-2026.

For more information, head to the BLS website to see the Maryland Economy at a Glance

Check out how Maryland stacks up compared to surrounding states from our Maryland Chamber Foundation resource on Mid-Atlantic regional employment.

Get up to date on Maryland’s current business climate at this year’s Business Policy Conference.





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