The Regional Economic Studies Institute (RESI) at Towson University is the source for the latest data and analysis on Maryland’s economy. Each month, RESI Chief Economist Dr. Daraius Irani provides an analysis of the latest Maryland unemployment numbers. His analysis ensures business leaders have key information needed to determine how Maryland’s economic status impacts their organization. RESI on the Economy is your source for the latest data and analysis of Maryland’s economy and employment numbers.

Spring has Sprung

RESI on the Economy

Maryland’s unemployment rate fell to 4.7%, lower than the national average.

Now that April is finally here, Marylanders can go outside without their parkas and gloves. The economy matched this sunny outlook for March, as indicated by preliminary numbers released today by the Bureau of Labor Statistics/the Department of Labor, Licensing, and Regulation. Maryland’s March unemployment rate was 4.7 percent, lower than the national average of 5.0 percent. Total nonfarm employment increased by 19,300 jobs from February to March, and February’s total was revised from a loss of 1,800 jobs to an increase of 200. In the private sector, gains were similarly sunny with an increase of 16,800 jobs over the month and February’s number revised from an increase of 400 jobs to an increase of 3,100. A number of industries are clearly renewed and ready for spring, and just a few are still a little frosty. Chief Economist Daraius Irani examines these trends for Maryland’s economy.

Here Comes the Sun

A number of Maryland industries are in full bloom for spring. March’s largest monthly gain of 7,900 jobs came in Professional and Business Services, comprised of increases in Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services (+900 jobs), Management of Companies and Enterprises (+100 jobs), and Administrative and Support and Waste Management and Remediation Services (+6,900 jobs). As Marylanders begin to venture outside and enjoy the weather, Leisure and Hospitality grew by 5,600 jobs, divided between an increase of 2,900 in Arts, Entertainment, and Recreation and an increase of 2,700 jobs in Accommodation and Food Services. Leisure and Hospitality had the highest year-over-year job growth, with an increase of 14,900. Month over month, Mining, Logging, and Construction is up by 3,400 jobs; over the year, it has grown by 10,900 jobs.

A Little Frost

Even with the sunny forecast, there were a few industries that experienced some icy conditions. Manufacturing, whose February gains outperformed everyone’s predictions, fell by 900 jobs in March—what began as a clear, sunny day came to a cool end after all. Trade, Transportation, and Utilities, which fell by 800 jobs over the month, also had a chilly March. Even so, both of these industry sectors have grown over the year, an increase of 2,900 jobs for Manufacturing and 7,900 jobs for Trade, Transportation, and Utilities, indicating that, while they might be a little cool, the sun will come out tomorrow.

Sweeping the Clouds Away

The upward revision of February’s numbers and the sunny March situation leave Maryland in good standing as spring continues to bloom and flourish. Job gains were spread across a variety of sectors, and those that did experience losses decreased by seedling amounts. Hopefully the sunny outlook will continue into summer!