[Color photograph of Curtis Bay, Baltimore, Maryland, August 2000.]




Curtis Bay, Baltimore, Maryland, August 2000. Photo by Diane F. Evartt.

On the Eastern seaboard, Maryland is strategically located for trade. It borders the District of Columbia, the nation's capital, to the south and is within hours by land of New York, Philadelphia, and Pittsburgh. Nearly 90% of the State's population (5,171,634 in 1999) resides within the Washington-Baltimore Consolidated Metropolitan Statistical Area (CMSA), the fourth largest retail market in the country. Major transportation hubs include the Port of Baltimore, the Baltimore-Washington International Airport, and several arterial interstate highways.

Maryland has three foreign trade zones, (federally mandated, duty free sites). They are located at the Collington Business Center near Bowie in Prince George's County (#63); near BWI Airport (#73); and near Baltimore Harbor (#74). Since 1982, zone space has grown from 60,000 sq. ft. to 2 million sq. ft. Maryland also has 34 State Enterprise Zones, and a Federal Empowerment Zone. All zones offer businesses economic or tax incentives.

Recent economic trends show a rebound from an economic recession that peaked in the early 1990s. Factors behind the recession included reduced federal spending on defense, less government subcontract work, and a 16.8% reduction since 1992 of federal workers employed in Washington, DC, many of whom reside in Maryland. Since 1996, expansion in the high technology sector has reversed that trend. Throughout this time, Maryland has retained its AAA bond rating.

Federal agencies located in Maryland have been a catalyst for the State's technology base. These include the National Institutes of Health, the National Institute of Standards and Technology, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Goddard Space Flight Center, and Department of Defense operations. Advanced technology enterprise is especially strong in telecommunications, computer sciences, and biotechnology.

Research parks facilitate joint research among universities, State and federal government institutions, and private industry. These parks include: The Johns Hopkins Bayview Campus (life sciences research) in Baltimore; and Shady Grove Life Sciences Center (biomedical & life sciences research) in Montgomery County, which holds the Center for Advanced Research in Biotechnology, part of the University of Maryland Biotechnology Institute. Other members of the Institute are the Center of Marine Biotechnology, the Medical Biotechnology Center, the Center for Agricultural Biotechnology, and the Institute of Human Virology. Also significant are the Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel and the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore, both affiliated with The Johns Hopkins University. University of Maryland Baltimore County Research Park and Technology Center (life sciences & high technology research) on the Catonsville campus opened in 1996 to support high technology business development. In addition, the University of Maryland Baltimore County is leading a consortium of universities and private sector companies to develop the Goddard Earth Science and Technology Center. Center faculty and staff will collaborate with Goddard scientists in studying the earth's surface, atmosphere, and oceans.

Work Force. Among all states, Maryland's work force is the best educated. A third of its population aged 25 or older holds a bachelor's degree or higher. More than 146,455 businesses employ 2.29 million workers who earn an annual payroll of $76 billion. Some 3,494 of these businesses employ 100 or more workers. Of private sector employees, 8.1% are union members.

Most Marylanders - 86% - work in the widely defined service-producing sector. This category ranges from government positions to transportation-related professions, from wholesale trade to the finance and insurance industry. In 1998-99, the greatest growth in personal income (11.4%) occurred in the areas of finance, insurance, and real estate. Service careers top this list with 32% of the work force in the health, legal and education fields. One in five residents work in retail trade or for the government.

Employers. Major employers include ARINC, Bethlehem Steel, Computer Sciences Corp., General Motors, Giant Food, Lockheed Martin, Marriott International, McCormick & Co., Northrop Grumman, and Perdue Farms, Inc..

Jobs. Maryland's private sector provides 225,000 technology jobs. There are over 6,500 technology companies with an estimated payroll of $11 billion in Maryland. State and local revenues of approximately $629 million are generated by these companies.

With an increase of 57,700 jobs in 1999, Maryland's job growth exceeded the national rate (2.2%). From January through June 2000, the State's job growth rate increased to 2.7%, significantly higher than the national average (2.3%). Maryland ranked 11th among all states for this period. Nationally, however, growth is expected to slow in the second half of 2000. For calendar year 2000, job growth in Maryland should be at or above the national average. For the last three years, the State's average gain has been 57,000 jobs annually. In 1998, employment in high technology grew to 146,609 jobs, a 4.8% increase for the year, and outpaced total job growth in the private sector by 2.3 percentage points. High tech jobs cross major industry divisions and account for 7.8% of total private sector employment.

Income. Per-capita personal income grew 5.2% in 1999 and ranked 5th in the nation at $32,465 per year. By July 2000, Marylanders earned an average $607 per week and worked a 40.6-hour week. The unemployment rate was 3.3%, well below the 4.2% national average.

1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999
Maryland $41,500 $42,300 $43,300 $44,700 $46,300 $47,700 $50,016 **$51,715

* Measured in year-prior dollars. A median average is a "middle" number below and above which there are an equal number of values.
**Highest in the nation and 28.3% above the national average.


1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999
Maryland $23,609 $24,400 $25,405 $26,896 $27,844 $29,222 $30,850 $32,465
U.S. $20,631 $21,365 $22,180 $23,562 $24,651 $25,874 $27,322 $28,542


1997 1998
Maryland $29,112 $30,557
AlleganyCounty $19,742 $20,429
AnneArundelCounty $29,559 $30,827
Baltimore City $23,501 $24,750
Baltimore County $31,033 $32,269
Calvert County $26,255 $27,063
Caroline County $17,387 $18,375
Carroll County $26,075 $27,389
Cecil County $22,968 $24,646
Charles County $25,613 $26,725
Dorchester County $19,667 $20,766
Frederick County $27,181 $30,021
Garrett County $17,791 $18,293
Harford County $25,372 $26,613
Howard County $34,859 $36,294
Kent County $24,888 $26,128
Montgomery County $40,388 $42,393
Prince George's County $26,815 $27,996
Queen Anne's County $26,386 $26,878
St. Mary's County $25,096 $27,354
Somerset County $15,063 $16,006
Talbot County $30,952 $32,754
Washington County $22,141 $23,282
Wicomico County $22,033 $22,929
Worcester County $24,298 $25,109

Sources for this data and additional information about Maryland's economy are available from the Department of Business and Economic Development, and the Department of Labor, Licensing, and Regulation. Socio-economic data about Maryland may be found through Planning Data Services, Department of Planning. Regional economic data may be found at the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis.

Information about Smart Growth, Maryland's plan to revitalize older developed areas and discourage sprawling development into the state's rural areas, is accessible through the Department of Planning.

Source: Bureau of Economic Analysis, U.S. Dept. of Commerce

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