CUMBERLAND —  The U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics has released state jobs and unemployment data for December, during which time Maryland added 6,500 jobs.

During the past five months, 41,900 jobs have been gained, which is the strongest five-month stretch of job gains since March 2010. Maryland’s unemployment rate has decreased to 3.5%, which is a new record low for unemployment in the past decade.

“Since our administration took office just over five years ago, over 56,000 Marylanders are no longer unemployed, representing the largest decline in unemployment for any Maryland governor in recorded history,” said Gov. Larry Hogan. “With more Marylanders working and more businesses open than ever before, we are delivering on our promise to change Maryland for the better.”

The education and health services sector experienced the most growth with an increase of 2,500 jobs. The leisure and hospitality sector also had a significant increase of 2,000 jobs.

“Through our department’s nationally recognized EARN Maryland and apprenticeship programs, we are working directly with the business community to cultivate the skilled workforce they need to compete and grow in this ever-changing 21st century economy,” said Department of Labor Secretary Tiffany Robinson. “With the record-breaking workforce development funding in Governor Hogan’s proposed budget, Labor will have the ability to expand and support these industry-led partnerships like never before.”

Sectors that experienced job decreases were information, 700 jobs; manufacturing, 200; and trade, transportation and utilities, 200.

November’s preliminary jobs estimate was revised upwards by 2,500 jobs, from a gain of 9,800 to12,300 jobs.

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