"We're very optimistic about the job market here," Schneiders said. "I don't know if it's a confidence that things are turning around or what, but I think companies are starting to build again."
For Maryland, awash in federal employees and contractors, a major question mark is what Congress and the next president will do about the nation's budget problems. The sharp, automatic cuts scheduled to start in January if no compromise is reached "would be disastrous for the Maryland economy," said Clinch, the economist.
Gov. Martin O'Malley, a Democrat, was quick to cheer the September numbers as the "single greatest month of job creation in 29 months."
"Our private sector continues to create jobs, and as the hub of growing innovation sectors like cyber security, information technology and aerospace, we continue to prove that we are on the cutting edge of the next wave of job creation," O'Malley said in a statement.
But David Ferguson, executive director of the Maryland Republican Party, said businesses have cut jobs in more months this year than they've added.
"Let's look at the trend — how many months have we been losing jobs vs. how many months have we been gaining?" he said.
Bloomberg News contributed to this article.