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.

Summer is finally here, and with it comes warmer weather. The Bureau of Labor Statistics/the Department of Labor, Licensing, and Regulation recently released preliminary employment numbers for May, and according to the release, Maryland’s economy is warming up with the unemployment rate dropping from 4.6 percent to 4.5 percent, below the national average of 4.7 percent. Additionally, Maryland added 2,500 nonfarm jobs in May, a little over three times the national average of 760. Employment from private employers in Maryland increased by 1,100 jobs in May. From last May, the state added 47,900 jobs from private employers.

They’re Heating Up

Maryland’s job growth was strongest in the Education and Health Services sector, where payrolls rose by 6,200 jobs in May, or about 1.4 percent. This sector has shown continued strong growth, having added 11,600 jobs between May, 2015 and May, 2016. Within Education and Health Services in May, 2016 4,600 jobs were added in the Health Care and Social Assistance subsector, for a growth rate of 1.3 percent, while 1,600 jobs were added in the Educational Services subsector, for a growth rate of 1.9 percent. The Professional and Business Services sector was also warming up, with 3,300 jobs added in May and 10,500 jobs added over the past year. The Manufacturing and Government sectors also posted small employment gains in May.

Some Remaining Spring Chill

However, the employment numbers stayed chilly for a few sectors. Mirroring the national economy, Maryland saw declines in employment in the Information sector, which lost 3,900 jobs in May, or 10.2 percent of its workforce. The sector has lost 4,500 jobs since May, 2015, for a decrease of 11.6 percent. Both the Mining, Logging, and Construction Sector as well as the Leisure and Hospitality sector experienced job decreases in May, despite strong yearly performances. The Mining, Logging, and Construction sector lost 1,200 jobs in May, while adding 8,400 jobs over the past year for a growth rate of 5.4 percent (the highest annual growth rate for Maryland’s sectors). Similarly, the Leisure and Hospitality sector lost 1,400 jobs in the past month, while gaining 10,500 jobs over the past year. Hopefully, these industries warm up with the summer heat and turn around the short-term declines. Small decreases in employment were seen in the Financial Activities, the Trade, Transportation, and Utilities, and Other Services sectors.

Revisions to the Forecast

The Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing, and Regulation also revised their employment numbers for April, 2016. As a whole, the original estimates were not too far off, with total nonfarm payrolls actually increasing by 100 more jobs than originally calculated, while total private payrolls fell by 100 jobs. At the sector level, however, there were some larger differences. Trade, Transportation, and Utilities, originally projected to lose 2,000 jobs in April, only lost 900 jobs instead, a difference of 1,100 jobs. Leisure and Hospitality added 1,200 fewer jobs than originally expected, meaning that employment in this sector only increased by 200 jobs in April, 2016 as opposed to the 1,400 originally calculated.

Maryland’s economy remains in good shape, with the unemployment rate slowly dropping and more jobs being added to the economy, it looks like the summer fun is off to a good start.