Maryland Employers Add 8,100 Jobs in February

… Labor Department: Unemployment rate drops to 7.1 percent …

By Jamie Smith Hopkins, The Baltimore Sun

10:45 AM EDT, March 25, 2011

Maryland’s job base took a U-turn back to growth in February, increasing by 8,100 positions after a rough January, the U.S. Department of Labor said Friday.

And the federal agency said January wasn’t quite as bad as it originally estimated, with 5,100 jobs lost in Maryland rather than the 7,100 it measured earlier.

The numbers are adjusted to try to account for normal seasonal variations, something that’s particularly hard to do when economic conditions — or even weather conditions — are not-so-normal. Job figures showed the state losing nearly 30,000 jobs in February 2010, the month the twin blizzards hit, and then gaining them all back the next month.

The state’s unemployment rate fell to 7.1 percent in February from 7.2 percent in January, the Labor Department said. Maryland’s labor force continued to shrink, which economists don’t consider a healthy sign. But the number of unemployed people fell faster, which is good news.

All told, 210,000 Marylanders were out of work and actively looking in February, down from 215,000 the month before, the Labor Department said.

Copyright © 2011, The Baltimore Sun

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