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Maryland Unemployment Rate Drops to 5.8 Percent

BALTIMORE, MD (March 17, 2014) – The U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) released state jobs and unemployment data earlier today. According to the preliminary survey data, Maryland's January 2014 preliminary unemployment dropped to 5.8 percent-the lowest since December 2008.

Maryland's unemployment rate for December 2013 was benchmarked for the year and unchanged with revision, at 6.1 percent.

Maryland's job totals decreased by 9,800 in January. Public sector jobs decreased by 1,200 and the private sector declined by 8,600 jobs over-the-month. Still, eight out of the 12 months in 2013 have posted over-the-month job gains. Despite losses in January, Maryland has made significant progress in the jobs recovery. Compared with January 2013, Maryland jobs are up by 8,500 and our private sector has added 11,100 jobs.

"While this month's report reflects losses from recent extreme seasonal factors, it also shows that our investments in skills development and training are helping to put more Marylanders back to work. We've driven down Maryland's unemployment rate to its lowest level since 2008," said Maryland Labor Secretary Leonard Howie. "The Maryland Department of Labor remains focused on accelerating hiring and job growth as we continue our work to expand opportunity and strengthen Maryland's middle class."

In the private sector, the Education, Health Care & Social Assistance sector gained 800 jobs. The Health Care and Social Assistance subsector added 800 jobs.

Several factors indicate that Maryland's economic strength is growing. Median home sales price rose by 2.6 percent to $241,097 in February and was up 7.7 percent above last year, recording the 25th consecutive month of year-over-year increases. Property foreclosures in Maryland continued to decline in February and posted the lowest year-over-year growth in 16 months. Maryland in 2013 moved more people from welfare to work than at any point in the state's history, and 27% of those were placed in jobs paying $10 per hour or higher. Finally, according to Environmental Entrepreneurs, in 2013, Maryland ranked 4th in the nation, and #1 in the region, for total green jobs.

Maryland has distinguished itself as a leader in education and opportunity in the 21st century national economy. According to a recent study by Pew Center for the States, Maryland is one of the top three states in the nation for upward economic mobility. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce recently ranked Maryland as the number one state for innovation and entrepreneurship. Maryland also boasts one of the strongest educational systems in the country, topping the nation for the last five years in educational achievement according to Education Week, along with holding the cost of college tuition to the lowest levels in the nation.

Secretary Howie will brief the media on the January 2014 jobs report during a conference call at noon today. Call-in number: 1-877-274-9107.

About the Maryland Department of Labor
The Maryland Department of Labor is committed to safeguarding and protecting Marylanders. We're proud to support the economic stability of the state by providing businesses, the workforce, and the consuming public with high-quality, customer-focused regulatory, employment, and training services. For updates and information, follow the Maryland Department of Labor on Twitter (@MD_Labor), Facebook and visit our website.

Employment Situation

Note: Data is spidered in on the DLLR website directly from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) using Datazoa and a slight lag may exist as the database is refreshed.

For immediate access to this month's jobs data please go to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) website.