www.baltimoresun.com/business/money/bs-bz-state-of-baltimore-region-economy-20111212,0,481714.story

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Education, health, government jobs help buffer Balto. region

Report prepared for Greater Baltimore Committee says area has held up well compared to similar regions

By Jamie Smith Hopkins, The Baltimore Sun

6:12 PM EST, December 12, 2011

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Employment in the Baltimore area has held up better in the last few difficult years than it has in other, similar regions, thanks largely to the strength of the education, health care and government sectors, according to a new study.

The 2011 State of the Region report, produced for the Greater Baltimore Committee, says the Baltimore area's loss of 1.6 percent of its jobs between 2008 and 2010 was the fifth-smallest drop among 20 metro areas studied. Austin, Texas, had the best performance, with a drop of about half a percent, while Tampa's 3.6 percent job loss ranked the Florida city dead last.

Job growth in the public sector and the education and health services sector in the Baltimore region helped offset some of the losses in the other five major employment categories, such as manufacturing.

Among other findings in the State of the Region report, the first the GBC has done in four years:

•Despite improvements in the number of violent crimes, the area was last among the 18 regions with available statistics. Its violent crime rate was 722 per 100,000 residents in 2009, the report said.

•The area spent more on academic research and development — $2.1 billion in 2008 — than any of the other regions studied.

The full report is at gbc.org.

jhopkins@baltsun.com

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