March Brings Maryland Worst Jobs Growth Since 2016

According to the latest federal jobs report, Maryland lost 7,200 jobs after three concurrent months of jobs gains, even though more people joined the workforce in March.

Economists say, the growing number of people searching for work and working, shows increasing confidence in the economy. The U.S. Labor Department released the new estimates on Friday, which show that hiring isn’t very strong. Maryland’s unemployment rate rose by a tenth of a percent to 4.3, lower than the national average of 4.5 percent.

Job gains in February revised down significantly, losing 2,000 more jobs than first reported.

The downward revision of February’s jobs gain and March job loss could very well be “warning signs” that employers are becoming more concerned about the proposed federal budget cuts and how it will affect a state that relies greatly on the government.

Economists are cautioning against putting too much emphasis on the monthly job total, because they are prone to revision. The state has also had a steady year-over-year gain in jobs.

Maryland added an estimated 95,000 jobs since January 2015 and 44,200 jobs since March 2016, which analysts say is a positive sign that job growth remained inline with the state’s population growth.

In spite of March jobs losses, nearly 13,900 people entered the labor force searching for work. Seasonal factors played a role in some of the job loss, as construction companies reported a loss of 4,500 jobs and hotels and restaurants lost 2,700 jobs, both sectors are more prone to seasonal employment unpredictability. The retail sector also reported a loss of 800 jobs, but this is to be expected since it has been dealing with unprecedented store closings and bankruptcies since January.

The health and education sector added 400 jobs, while the public sector gained 300 jobs and the business and professional sector added 2,000 jobs.

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