Overall job growth in the Baltimore area continues at a pace slightly ahead of the national average, and modestly better than 2012, according to a report by the research firm, Jones Lang LaSalle. According to the report, non-farm employment in the Baltimore metro area grew 1.9 percent year-over-year, compared to an average of 1.75 percent over other major metropolitan areas.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics indicates the strongest year-over-year growth in the city of Baltimore includes the fields of professional and business services (14.4 percent), construction (6.3 percent), leisure and hospitality (5.2 percent), and education and health services (1.5 percent).

The construction industry has seen growth in every major category, according to the Baltimore Business Journal. Even the region’s manufacturing sector, which has seen several years of steep declines, has posted modest gains in 2013.

The healthcare sector alone accounts for over 12 percent of the jobs in the Baltimore area, according to a Brookings Institution report. Like other major metropolitan areas, healthcare employment now accounts for a larger share of jobs than prior to the recession. Approximately 11,900 jobs in healthcare have been added since 2003 in the Baltimore-Townsend metro area—just about 14 percent of the total 86,000 jobs added during that time period.

Baltimore’s positive outlook continues despite the fact that the state of Maryland lost a total 9,200 jobs in July, causing the unemployment rate to inch up to 7.1 percent from 7 percent in June. Economists place much of the blame for job loss on sequestration spending cuts and furloughs for federal workers, according to a Baltimore Sun article. Maryland’s proximity to Washington had until this point somewhat insulated it from the effects of the federal across-the-board budget cuts, totaling $85 billion from March through September 2012.

While the economy continues a somewhat uneven recovery, the good news for job seekers with the requisite skills is that opportunities in these sectors continue to grow.

Warren White is a freelance writer covering all things Baltimore. His work can be found on Examiner.com.


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