• The most recent jobs report showed that between November and December, Maryland added 4,900 Total Nonfarm positions, including 4,200 Total Private jobs and 700 Government jobs.
  • Maryland’s largest employment gains were made in the Professional and Business Services and Education and Health Services with increases of 1,900 positions each.
  • Preliminary employment figures for November were revised down by 1,700 jobs to a net gain of 6,200 positions.
  • The unemployment rate for Maryland was 3.9 percent in December—the same as the national unemployment rate—and was a slight decrease from November’s figure of 4.0 percent.

On the supersector level, Professional and Business Services and Education and Health Services had the greatest gains of 1,900 positions each. Moderate gains were also seen in Manufacturing (+900 jobs), Government (+700 positions), and Mining, Logging, and Construction (+600 jobs). Financial Activities (-1,200 jobs) and Other Services (-600 jobs) were the only two supersectors posting losses. Maryland’s subsector-level gains were greatest in Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services and Health Care and Social Assistance, each adding 1,800 positions. Transportation and Utilities also had a significant increase of 1,100 jobs. Several subsectors showed moderate losses, including Retail Trade (-700), Finance and Insurance (-700), Other Services (-600), and Real Estate and Rental and Leasing (-500). 

Neighboring states in the Mid-Atlantic region (Virginia, Pennsylvania, Delaware, and Washington, D.C.) had substantial gains of 16,400 Total Nonfarm jobs, including 14,100 Total Private jobs and 2,300 Government jobs. Neighboring states’ largest gains on the supersector level were in Leisure and Hospitality (+10,000 jobs), Education and Health Services (+9,500 positions), and Manufacturing (+4,300 jobs). The greatest supersector-level losses were in Trade, Transportation, and Utilities (-6,400 positions); Professional and Business Services (-1,900 positions); and Financial Activities (-1,500 jobs). The unemployment rate for neighboring states in December stayed constant at 3.7 percent, unchanged from November.

The Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, which covers the Fifth District (including the state of Maryland), reported continued tightening of the labor market with modest wage growth, noting significant starting wage increases for some positions. While there was overall economic growth seen, the Richmond Fed stated that the Manufacturing sector has been reporting rising input prices, with some increases attributed to tariffs. Slowing orders were attributed to a combination of factors including weather conditions, seasonal changes, and decreased global demand. Although one Maryland firm reported looking to automation to offset rising input prices, Maryland reported an overall increase of 900 manufacturing jobs in December. Concerns over tariffs were also reported at ports and in the trucking industry, though current volumes were noted to be strong and sometimes exceeding capacity. Some volume increases in imports are thought to be an effort to reduce impacts from potential future tariffs.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the organization from which these monthly employment figures are obtained, is currently funded through September 2019 and expects to stay on their current release schedule. More information on how furloughed workers and federal employees working without pay will be classified in employment figures can be found on this BLS information page. Impacts to additional data measures, such as the Producer Price Index (PPI) and Consumer Price Index (PPI), are also outlined on the linked page.

To make more sense of what’s happening with Maryland’s employment numbers, we’ve embedded our new tool: the Mid-Atlantic Regional Employment Workbook. This dashboard allows you to examine 29 different industries and see how employment is varying in Maryland as well as four other states in the Mid-Atlantic region. To use the dashboard select a sector of the economy that interests you from the dropdown at the top. When you change the sector of interest, the map and five line graphs will update to reflect historical data for that industry. Want to know how employment changed in the sector last month? Hover over each state in the map for percentage changes. Or hover over the line graphs to get more detailed information on the number of employees each month since January 2016 by state.

Mid-Atlantic Regional Employment Workbook

About the Authors

Daraius Irani, Ph.D.

Daraius Irani, Ph.D.

Vice President

Daraius Irani, Ph.D. serves as vice president of Strategic Partnerships and Applied Research. He fosters the development of partnerships between business, government, and education that contributes to the economic vitality of our region. He also serves as chief economist at the Regional Economic Studies Institute and is often called on by state agencies, private companies, and local governments to provide insight on proposed policies, development, and economic forecasting. With a passion for all things economic, Daraius's posts focus on a wide range of topics from immigration to bicycling.

Katie Menking

Katie Menking


Katie Menking serves as economist at the Regional Economic Studies Institute. She has numerous roles, including primary and secondary data collection and analysis, methodology design, and report writing and editing. Katie is a primary author of Eye on the Economy, RESI’s monthly analysis of unemployment data. Read Katie’s Posts