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Anne Arundel tops weak employment growth in Maryland

Anne Arundel County, where more than 4,000 people joined the workforce between June 2015 and June 2016, led the state's largest jurisdictions in job creation, according to federal labor statistics.

The county's employment growth of 1.5 percent topped Maryland's seven most populated counties and Baltimore City, but only matched the national average, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported last week.

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Employment rose by 0.9 percent in Howard and Harford counties, 0.8 percent in Baltimore County and 0.5 percent in Baltimore City.

Montgomery County saw 0.7 percent growth, Prince George's County saw no growth, and Frederick County saw a loss of 0.1 percent.

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The labor statistics bureau focused its annual report on the 344 most populated counties in the United States. Statistics from Maryland's rural counties, such as Carroll and Worcester, were not included.

Growth in Anne Arundel was driven by BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport, the Maryland Live casino and Fort Meade, the largest workplace in Maryland.

Fort Meade employs approximately 56,000 people, up from 34,000 a decade ago.

The unemployment rate for Anne Arundel was 3.7 percent in October, according to the state Department of Labor. The statewide rate was 4.2 percent, lower than the national rate of 4.9 percent for that month.

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Keith Scott, CEO of the Baltimore County Chamber of Commerce, saw promising signs for unemployment growth there. Tradepoint Atlantic is developing 130 acres on Sparrows Point, the former site of the Bethlehem Steel mill, for offices, manufacturing, hotel rooms and shops. Scott said the project could create as many as 17,000 jobs.

"I think we have a lot on board in terms of Baltimore County that continues to be developed and growing," Scott said.

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