graphThe U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that for the 12-period through June 2011, half of Maryland’s eight large counties (75,000+ employed) experienced a surge in employment; Harford County’s gains put it in the top 25 percent, for the statistic, nationwide. Harford’s gains were up 2.8 percent over the year. Both Anne Arundel and Howard Counties experienced the second highest rate gain at 1.5 percent each. Of the four counties that reported decreased employment rates, only one, Frederick County (a 1.4 percent drop), reported a drop of over 0.4 percent.

During the same time period, national employment increased by 0.9 percent with 215 out of 322 large counties recording employment growth. As of June 2011, Maryland employment was greatest in Montgomery County with a total of 453,000 workers. Other large counties exceeding 300,000 employees included Baltimore, Baltimore City, and Prince George Counties. These counties represent 80 percent of the state’s total employment.

Over-the-year wage growth, up through June 2011, was fastest in Harford County (8.8 percent) which was also county experiencing the third fasted wage growth in the nation during that period. The highest average weekly wage in Maryland was in Montgomery County ($1,213), followed by Howard County ($1,080), and Baltimore City ($1,034). Nationally, the wage was at $891 per week, during the same period.

Of Maryland’s smaller counties (<75,000 employees), 15 of the 16 experienced average weekly wages beneath the nation’s average rate; St. Mary’s was the only exception with an average wage at $1,173 per week. The lowest reported weekly wage occurred in Worcester Country, average $519 per week in through June 2011. All told, 17 of 24 Maryland counties recorded below average ($891 per week) weekly wages.

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