You are the owner of this article.

Readers of The Maryland Independent, Calvert Recorder and Enterprise

We hope our combined Wednesday/Friday Independence Holiday Edition makes your holiday week more enjoyable. APG of Chesapeake offices will be closed Friday, July 3rd to allow our staff to enjoy a much deserved 4th of July holiday with their friends and family. Watch for our next publication on Wednesday, July 8th. Until then, we wish all of our readers and staff a very happy 4th of July weekend.

Maryland adds 6,500 jobs, unemployment rate dips to 3.5%

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics last week released state jobs and unemployment data. According to the preliminary survey data, Maryland added 6,500 jobs in December. During the past five months, 41,900 have been gained, which is the strongest five-month stretch of job gains since March 2010. Maryland’s unemployment rate has decreased to 3.5%, which is a new record low for unemployment in the past decade, according to a Maryland Department of Labor press release.

“Since our administration took office just over five years ago, over 56,000 Marylanders are no longer unemployed, representing the largest decline in unemployment for any Maryland Governor in recorded history,” Gov. Larry Hogan (R) said in the release. “With more Marylanders working and more businesses open than ever before, we are delivering on our promise to change Maryland for the better.”

Last month, the education and health services sector experienced the most growth with an increase of 2,500 jobs from the health care and social assistance (1,700) and education services (800) sectors. The leisure and hospitality sector also had a significant increase of 2,000 jobs from the arts, entertainment, and recreation (1,500) and accommodation and food services (500) sectors.

“Through our department’s nationally-recognized EARN Maryland and apprenticeship programs, we are working directly with the business community to cultivate the skilled workforce they need to compete and grow in this ever-changing 21st century economy,” state labor Secretary Tiffany Robinson said in the release.

Other sectors that experienced growth include: other services (1,100); professional and business services (1,100); financial activities (500); and mining, logging, and construction (400).

The information sector decreased by 700 jobs, the Manufacturing sector decreased by 200 jobs, and the trade, transportation, and utilities sector decreased by 200 jobs.

November’s preliminary jobs estimate was revised upwards by 2,500 jobs, from a gain of 9,800 jobs to a gain of 12,300 jobs.