Maryland adds nearly 13,000 jobs in January

Maryland gained nearly 13,000 jobs in January as the unemployment rate remained steady at 4.1 percent, the U.S. Labor Department said Monday.

The number of jobs in Maryland increased to 2.73 million, with growth in such sectors as construction, transportation and utilities, professional and business services, education and health services, and leisure and hospitality, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The state lost jobs in the government and financial activities sectors and experienced little change in manufacturing.

The state’s jobless rate has remained at 4.1 percent since November.

Maryland’s low unemployment should lead to wage growth and improved stability in the job market, said Richard P. Clinch, economist and executive director of the University of Baltimore’s Jacob France Institute.

“All in all, these are good numbers,” Clinch said. “The Maryland economy is fine. We have low unemployment. We have broad-based job growth.”

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reduced the state’s estimated job loss in December to 11,000 jobs from the previously reported 20,200. That revision and January’s job gains show that growth is continuing, though Maryland faces some uncertainty over the potential impact of federal spending cuts, Clinch said.

Employment in Maryland mirrored the national trend, with the U.S. unemployment rate in January unchanged from the previous month at 4.1 percent. Jobless rates were stable in 44 states, while unemployment fell in six states and Washington in January, the labor department said.

Maryland experienced the strongest job growth in the professional and business services sector, with a gain of 6,700 jobs. That included 4,200 jobs within the administrative and support and waste management remediation services sub-sector and 2,600 positions in the professional, scientific and technical services sub-sector. Another 3,500 jobs were added in education and health services.

Strong hiring for administrative and support openings likely includes temporary hiring, a sign that employers are considering additional permanent hiring, Clinch said.

Mining, logging and construction grew by 2,300 jobs, and leisure and hospitality added 1,500 positions, the government data showed.

"A healthy economy begins with a healthy workforce," Maryland Labor Secretary Kelly M. Schulz said in an announcement.

Schulz said employees have benefited from training, education and support services offered through workforce development programs such as the Maryland Apprenticeship and Training Program.

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