Maryland Economy Experiences Seasonal Slowdown Following Record-Setting First Quarter


Maryland's businesses create over 3,100 jobs per month
Unemployment nearly 20 percent below national average

BALTIMORE, MD (May 18, 2012) - The U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics released state payroll job and employment data earlier today. According to the preliminary data, Maryland shed 6,000 jobs in April as jobs data continues to be adjusted to account for an unseasonably warm winter. Despite April's losses, the 15,700 private-sector jobs added through the first four months of 2012 are the state's best start to a year for private sector growth since 2000. Additionally, Maryland's private sector has created jobs in eight of the last 12 months, with an average monthly gain of over 3,100 jobs. March's preliminary gain of 1,500 jobs was revised downward to a loss of 600 jobs. Maryland's unemployment rate rose modestly to 6.7 percent, but continues to be among the lowest in the country and nearly 20 percent below the national rate.

"As we know, in any recovery there are strong months and soft months. While our unemployment rate increased slightly, more Marylanders entered the labor force," said Interim Maryland Labor Secretary Scott R. Jensen. "Thanks to Governor O'Malley's leadership and tough choices, we've weathered the recession better than many other states. Maryland is well positioned to compete in the New Economy, and we continue to be committed to skills training and job placement."

April's losses were spread across a number of industries, but most declines were small. Only two private-sector industries saw considerable decreases over-the-month: Professional & Business Services declined by 2,200 (a decrease of 2,100 in Administrative & Support Services affected the entire sector), and Leisure & Hospitality declined by 3,900 (owing largely to a decrease of 2,800 in the Accommodation & Food Services subsector). Historically, declines in both sectors are not uncommon from March to April. Since April 2011, Maryland has added 40,600 jobs, 38,000 of which are in the private sector. Over-the-year, nearly all major industries posted gains, with notable increases in Education, Health Care, & Social Assistance (+16,500), Professional & Business Services (+13,800), Natural Resources, Mining, & Construction (+5,700), and Leisure & Hospitality (+3,400). The only sectors to post over-the-year decreases were Manufacturing (-2,000), Financial Activities (-500), and Information (-100).

Interim Secretary Jensen will brief the media on the April 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.

Employment Situation