Maryland Private Sector Employers Create 16,400 Jobs in April, State Unemployment Rate Improves to 6.8 Percent


Maryland's 0.8 percent private sector rate of job growth four times the national average

BALTIMORE, MD (May 20, 2011) - Private sector employers created 16,400 jobs in Maryland during April, a 0.8 percent rate of private sector job growth, according to data released today by the U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics. The state lost 4,800 government jobs, including 3,000 state jobs, bringing the total job growth in April to 11,600. Maryland's 0.5 percent rate of growth was two and a half times better than the national 0.2 percent average.

While the national unemployment rate increased from 8.8 to 9.0 percent in April, Maryland's unemployment rate improved 0.1 percentage points to 6.8 percent - the 15th straight month the unemployment rate has improved or held steady. Maryland's unemployment rate is 2.2 percentage points better than the national average. Since December 2010, the state's unemployment rate has improved 0.6 percentage points.

"Maryland continues to provide a national example and is better positioned to recover from the national economic downturn more quickly than most other states. Largely because of the strength of our highly skilled and well-educated workforce, Maryland's private sector employers added 16,400 jobs in April, quadrupling the national private sector rate of growth," Governor Martin O'Malley said. "We must build on our progress and protect the investments we've made in our most valuable commodity - the men and women who make Maryland's workforce the most dynamic, most diverse and best trained in America."

"Governor O'Malley has made the tough choices to position Maryland to compete in the New Economy," Maryland Labor Secretary Alexander M. Sanchez said. "The investments the O'Malley-Brown administration has made to develop a strong workforce pipeline have helped drive Maryland's unemployment rate to the lowest levels in 25 months and 25 percent better than the national average."

All of Maryland's private sector supersectors added jobs in April at a faster rate than the national average except the information sector, which held steady. Notable gains include:

  • 5,500 professional and business service jobs (1.4 percent rate of growth compared to 0.3 percent national rate);
  • 3,500 leisure and hospitality jobs (1.5 percent rate of growth compared to 0.3 percent national rate);
  • 1,700 trade, transportation, warehouse and utility jobs (0.4 percent rate of growth compared to 0.3 percent national rate);
  • 1,700 manufacturing jobs (1.5 percent rate of growth compared to 0.2 percent national rate; and
  • 1,000 jobs in natural resources, mining and construction (0.7 percent rate of growth compared to 0.5 percent national rate).

Since January, Maryland has added 13,000 jobs (0.5 percent rate of growth). In that same timeframe, more than 24,000 additional Marylanders have started working (0.9 percent rate of growth) and more than 11,600 fewer Marylanders are unemployed (a 5.4 percent decline) - the strongest start to the year for Maryland's labor market since 1986.

In April, the Prince George's County Go Solar! Solar Generation and Electric Construction Training Program graduated its first class of students. Eighty-five percent of the students who enrolled in the course graduated. Of those who completed the program, 85 percent had jobs and apprenticeships waiting for them. The Go Solar! training program is specifically designed to jumpstart participating jobseekers' careers by equipping them with skills hiring contractors demand, including electrical theory, photovoltaic installation techniques and basic tool recognition. The Prince George's County MESP Solar Generation and Electric Construction Training - Go Solar! - program is a partnership between the Governor's Workforce Investment Board (GWIB), the Prince George's County Economic Development Corporation Workforce Services Division (PGCEDC-WSD) and the Joint Apprenticeship and Training Committee (JATC) Local Union 26 of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW). This training program is the first Go Solar! project in the state to exclusively target new workers. The program supports Governor O'Malley's ambitious goal to create 100,000 green jobs in Maryland by 2012.

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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