Jobs in metropolitan area rose just 0.2% last year

June 01, 1994|By Sun Staff Writer | Sun Staff Writer,Labor Department

Growth in service jobs helped the Baltimore metropolitan area end last year with a tiny net gain in employment, ending a skid that began with the recession in 1991, the Labor Department reported yesterday.

Total jobs rose 0.2 percent in Baltimore City and six suburban counties in 1993, to almost 1.1 million, after a 5 percent drop over the preceding two years. The number of service jobs grew 2.6 percent, and government employment stabilized, while job losses in all other categories slowed from the pace of the preceding two years.

The report confirms many economists' views that the area's economy, which had lagged behind the nation's during much of the recovery, began to produce jobs in the latter half of last year. Job growth since the fall has been increasing steadily, economists say.

But the numbers also show that the improvement was uneven as the recovery gathered steam.

The area's manufacturing industry continued to bleed, losing 3.8 percent of its jobs last year, but relief finally came to the construction trades, which suffered only a 0.2 percent decline after a horrendous three-year slide.

Job growth in the counties -- up 1 percent last year -- was offset by job losses in Baltimore City -- down 1.1 percent. Since 1983, the six nearby counties have added more than 150,000 jobs, while the city has lost almost 20,000.

Yesterday's report is a revision of earlier numbers released by the Labor Department. In February, the department reported that Maryland had been one of only six U.S. states to lose jobs in 1993.

A SMALL GAIN

1993 change in major employment categories, Baltimore metropolitan area:

Category .. .. .. .. .. ..% change

Construction .. .. .. .. .. .-0.2%

Manufacturing.. .. ... .. ... -3.8

Transportation,

public utilities.. .. .. .. . -1.1

Wholesale, retail.. .. .. ... -0.6

F.I.R.E*.. .. .. .. .. .. ... -0.7

Services .. .. .. .. .. .. ...+2.6

Government .. .. .. .. .. .. .+0.1

Total .. .. .. .. .. .. .. ...+0.2

* Finance, insurance, real estate

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