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News Release Information

Friday, May 01, 2020


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Baltimore Area Employment – March 2020

Local Rate of Employment Growth Unchanged Over the Year

Total nonfarm employment for the Baltimore-Columbia-Towson, MD Metropolitan Statistical Area stood at 1,416,100 in March 2020, unchanged over the year, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. During the same period, the national job count increased 1.0 percent. Sheila Watkins, the Bureau’s regional commissioner, noted that prior to March 2020, the Baltimore area had five consecutive months of over-the-year job gains. (See chart 1 and table 1; the Technical Note at the end of this release contains the metropolitan area definition. All data in this release are not seasonally adjusted; accordingly, over-the-year analysis is used throughout.)

Industry employment

Professional and business services had the largest annual job gain among Baltimore’s supersectors, adding 5,200 jobs since March 2019. The supersector’s 2.2-percent local rate of job growth was faster than the national rate of 1.5 percent. (See chart 2.)

Employment in trade, transportation, and utilities increased by 3,100 in the local area since March a year ago. The rate of local job growth for this supersector (1.3 percent) was more than three times the national rate (0.4 percent).

Three Baltimore area supersectors lost more than 1,000 jobs each over the year—government (-5,700), leisure and hospitality (-2,600), and financial activities (-2,200). Nationally, the government and financial activities supersectors added jobs, while the leisure and hospitality supersector had job losses.

Metropolitan area employment data for April 2020 are scheduled to be released on Friday, May 22, 2020, at 10:00 a.m. (ET).

Technical Note

This release presents nonfarm payroll employment estimates from the Current Employment Statistics (CES) program. The CES survey is a Federal-State cooperative endeavor between State employment security agencies and the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Definitions. Employment data refer to persons on establishment payrolls who receive pay for any part of the pay period which includes the 12th of the month. Persons are counted at their place of work rather than at their place of residence; those appearing on more than one payroll are counted on each payroll. Industries are classified on the basis of their principal activity in accordance with the 2017 version of the North American Industry Classification System.

Method of estimation. CES State and Area employment data are produced using several estimation procedures. Where possible these data are produced using a "weighted link relative" estimation technique in which a ratio of current-month weighted employment to that of the previous-month weighted employment is computed from a sample of establishments reporting for both months. The estimates of employment for the current month are then obtained by multiplying these ratios by the previous month's employment estimates. The weighted link relative technique is utilized for data series where the sample size meets certain statistical criteria.

For some employment series, the sample of establishments is very small or highly variable. In these cases, a model-based approach is used in estimation. These models use the direct sample estimates (described above), combined with forecasts of historical (benchmarked) data to decrease volatility in estimation. Two different models (Fay-Herriot Model and Small Domain Model) are used depending on the industry level being estimated. For more detailed information about each model, refer to the BLS Handbook of Methods.

Annual revisions. Employment estimates are adjusted annually to a complete count of jobs, called benchmarks, derived principally from tax reports which are submitted by employers who are covered under state unemployment insurance (UI) laws. The benchmark information is used to adjust the monthly estimates between the new benchmark and the preceding one and also to establish the level of employment for the new benchmark month. Thus, the benchmarking process establishes the level of employment, and the sample is used to measure the month-to-month changes in the level for the subsequent months.

Reliability of the estimates. The estimates presented in this release are based on sample surveys, administrative data, and modeling and, thus, are subject to sampling and other types of errors. Sampling error is a measure of sampling variability—that is, variation that occurs by chance because a sample rather than the entire population is surveyed. Survey data are also subject to nonsampling errors, such as those which can be introduced into the data collection and processing operations. Estimates not directly derived from sample surveys are subject to additional errors resulting from the special estimation processes used. The sums of individual items may not always equal the totals shown in the same tables because of rounding.

Employment estimates.

Measures of sampling error for the total nonfarm employment series are available for metropolitan areas and metropolitan divisions at Measures of sampling error for more detailed series at the area and division level are available upon request. Measures of sampling error for states down to the supersector level are available on the BLS website at Information on recent benchmark revisions is available online at

Area definitions. The substate area data published in this release reflect the delineations issued by the U.S. Office of Management and Budget on April 10, 2018. A detailed list of the geographic definitions is available at

The Baltimore-Columbia-Towson, MD Metropolitan Statistical Area includes Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Carroll, Harford, Howard, and Queen Anne’s Counties and Baltimore City in Maryland.

Additional information

More complete information on the technical procedures used to develop these estimates and additional data appear in Employment and Earnings, which is available online at Detailed industry employment data for metropolitan areas from the CES program are available from the State and Area Employment databases at

Information in this release will be made available to sensory impaired individuals upon request. Voice phone: (202) 691-5200; Federal Relay Service: (800) 877-8339.

Table 1. Employees on nonfarm payrolls by industry supersector, United States and the Baltimore metropolitan area,
not seasonally adjusted (in thousands)
Area Back
Mar 2019 to
Mar 2020(1)

United States

Total nonfarm

149,359 150,153 151,055 150,804 1,445 1.0

Mining and logging

731 701 700 697 -34 -4.7


7,170 7,240 7,271 7,331 161 2.2


12,774 12,766 12,796 12,783 9 0.1

Trade, transportation, and utilities

27,358 27,734 27,479 27,460 102 0.4


2,838 2,857 2,881 2,885 47 1.7

Financial activities

8,658 8,762 8,804 8,803 145 1.7

Professional and business services

20,908 21,139 21,250 21,229 321 1.5

Education and health services

24,113 24,403 24,716 24,645 532 2.2

Leisure and hospitality

16,090 16,092 16,245 15,988 -102 -0.6

Other services

5,833 5,862 5,890 5,882 49 0.8


22,886 22,597 23,023 23,101 215 0.9

Baltimore-Columbia-Towson Metropolitan Statistical Area

Total Nonfarm

1,415.6 1,417.4 1,420.1 1,416.1 0.5 0.0

Mining, logging, and construction

79.5 82.3 81.9 82.4 2.9 3.6


58.8 60.0 60.2 59.6 0.8 1.4

Trade, transportation, & utilities

242.4 244.8 243.6 245.5 3.1 1.3


17.2 16.8 16.8 16.7 -0.5 -2.9

Financial activities

79.3 76.8 77.3 77.1 -2.2 -2.8

Professional & business services

241.6 251.9 248.8 246.8 5.2 2.2

Education & health services

282.5 280.7 281.7 282.3 -0.2 -0.1

Leisure & hospitality

133.8 135.2 135.9 131.2 -2.6 -1.9

Other services

51.4 52.0 52.2 51.1 -0.3 -0.6


229.1 216.9 221.7 223.4 -5.7 -2.5

Baltimore City

Total Nonfarm

373.7 369.0 371.2 373.0 -0.7 -0.2

Mining, logging, and construction

11.0 11.0 11.0 11.0 0.0 0.0


11.3 11.0 11.0 11.0 -0.3 -2.7

Trade, transportation, & utilities

39.8 40.3 39.9 39.9 0.1 0.3


4.7 4.9 4.9 4.9 0.2 4.3

Financial activities

17.1 16.7 17.2 17.2 0.1 0.6

Professional & business services

54.1 56.5 55.9 56.2 2.1 3.9

Education & health services

122.4 122.2 122.6 122.8 0.4 0.3

Leisure & hospitality

28.8 27.7 28.1 28.7 -0.1 -0.3

Other services

12.5 12.1 12.1 12.2 -0.3 -2.4


72.0 66.6 68.5 69.1 -2.9 -4.0

(1) State and regional data for the most recent month are preliminary; U.S. data are preliminary for two months.


Last Modified Date: Friday, May 01, 2020