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News Release Information

Wednesday, November 03, 2021

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Baltimore Area Employment – September 2021

Local Rate of Employment Growth Down 6.3 Percent Over the Year

Total nonfarm employment for the Baltimore-Columbia-Towson, MD, metropolitan area increased by 41,900 over the year in September, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Regional Commissioner Alexandra Hall Bovee noted that the local rate of job gain, 3.2 percent, compared to the 4.0-percent national increase. (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

In Baltimore-Columbia-Towson, MD, professional and business services had the largest gain (+17,900) among local private-industry supersectors. (See chart 2.) The 7.7-percent increase in the metropolitan area’s professional and business services supersector compared to the 5.4-percent gain on a national level.

Education and health services gained 10,500 jobs over the year in the metropolitan area. Nearly all the employment gains within this supersector were concentrated in the health care and social assistance sector (+10,300). The metropolitan area had a 4.1-percent gain in this supersector compared to the 2.2-percent increase for the nation.

Employment in leisure and hospitality was up 9,300 over the year. Within this supersector, accommodation and food services accounted for an increase of 8,800 jobs.

The Metropolitan Area Employment and Unemployment release for October 2021 is scheduled to be released on December 2, 2021, at 10:00 a.m. (ET).

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Impact on September 2021 Establishment Survey Data

BLS has continued to review all estimation and methodological procedures for the establishment survey, which included the review of data, estimation processes, the application of the birth-death model, and seasonal adjustment. Business births and deaths cannot be adequately captured by the establishment survey as they occur. Therefore, the Current Employment Statistics (CES) program uses a model to account for the relatively stable net employment change generated by business births and deaths. Due to the impact of COVID-19, the relationship between business births and deaths is no longer stable. Typically, reports with zero employment are not included in estimation. For the August final and September preliminary estimates, CES included a portion of these reports in the estimates and made modifications to the birth-death model. In addition for both months, the establishment survey included a portion of the reports that returned to reporting positive employment from reporting zero employment. For more information, see

In the establishment survey, workers who are paid by their employer for all or any part of the pay period including the 12th of the month are counted as employed, even if they were not actually at their jobs. Workers who are temporarily or permanently absent from their jobs and are not being paid are not counted as employed, even if they are continuing to receive benefits. The length of the reference period does vary across the respondents in the establishment survey; one-third of businesses have a weekly pay period, slightly over 40 percent a bi-weekly, about 20 percent semi-monthly, and a small amount monthly.

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 at the supersector level and for the private service-providing, goods-producing, total private and total nonfarm levels 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 standards and definitions established 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
Sep 2020 to
Sep 2021(1)

United States

Total nonfarm

141,946 146,536 147,028 147,682 5,736 4.0

Mining and logging

597 642 646 649 52 8.7


7,419 7,640 7,651 7,628 209 2.8


12,138 12,460 12,484 12,462 324 2.7

Trade, transportation, and utilities

26,512 27,338 27,328 27,422 910 3.4


2,652 2,761 2,781 2,801 149 5.6

Financial activities

8,710 8,897 8,900 8,847 137 1.6

Professional and business services

20,115 21,067 21,193 21,203 1,088 5.4

Education and health services

23,086 23,319 23,362 23,588 502 2.2

Leisure and hospitality

13,446 15,864 15,827 15,414 1,968 14.6

Other services

5,426 5,786 5,786 5,721 295 5.4


21,845 20,762 21,070 21,947 102 0.5

Baltimore-Columbia-Towson Metropolitan Statistical Area

Total Nonfarm

1,321.5 1,371.0 1,371.6 1,363.4 41.9 3.2

Mining, logging, and construction

80.3 78.8 78.9 77.9 -2.4 -3.0


57.6 58.6 59.3 58.9 1.3 2.3

Trade, transportation, & utilities

238.0 243.1 242.2 239.0 1.0 0.4


16.1 16.6 16.2 15.8 -0.3 -1.9

Financial activities

76.2 77.0 76.1 74.8 -1.4 -1.8

Professional & business services

231.2 246.6 249.1 249.1 17.9 7.7

Education & health services

258.4 268.5 268.5 268.9 10.5 4.1

Leisure & hospitality

102.2 118.0 117.5 111.5 9.3 9.1

Other services

44.5 47.1 46.7 46.3 1.8 4.0


217.0 216.7 217.1 221.2 4.2 1.9

Baltimore City

Total Nonfarm

352.7 371.2 375.4 379.9 27.2 7.7

Mining, logging, and construction

10.8 11.5 11.5 11.4 0.6 5.6


10.6 11.3 11.3 11.2 0.6 5.7

Trade, transportation, & utilities

46.3 47.2 47.7 47.1 0.8 1.7


4.9 4.8 4.7 4.6 -0.3 -6.1

Financial activities

16.9 17.4 17.2 17.0 0.1 0.6

Professional & business services

51.4 59.3 60.5 61.6 10.2 19.8

Education & health services

112.9 116.2 118.2 120.8 7.9 7.0

Leisure & hospitality

18.8 26.1 26.5 25.8 7.0 37.2

Other services

10.9 11.1 10.9 10.9 0.0 0.0


69.2 66.3 66.9 69.5 0.3 0.4

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

SOURCE: Current Employment Statistics - National - State and Metropolitan Area

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Last Modified Date: Wednesday, November 03, 2021