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Maryland adds 2,400 private sector jobs in July


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20 MD companies make Inc. 500 fastest growing


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IT jobs outpace other occupations


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20 MD Companies Make Inc. 500 Fastest Growing Twenty of the 500 fastest-growing private companies in America are in Maryland, two more than last year. The2012 Inc. 500|5000 is ranked according to percentage revenue growth when comparing 2008 to 2011. Companies must have revenue of at least $2 million and a minimum of 770% in sales growth. The Maryland companies averaged revenue growth over 2000% from 2008 to 2011. Maryland-based Astrum Solar, now reporting revenues of $26.9 million is #2 on the list, while Standard Solar is #439. The full list of the 5000 fastest growing companies includes 161 based in Maryland. Maryland Adds 2,400 Private Sector Jobs in July Maryland added 2,400 private sector jobs in July (seasonally adjusted) and 800 jobs overall. Sectors leading growth included leisure/hospitality, professional/business services, private educational services and health services (see Figure 1). Together these sectors accounted for 8,500 jobs added, compared to 7,700 jobs lost among all other sectors. The state unemployment rate rose slightly from 6.9% to 7.0%. In a broad sense, July's Maryland job growth mirrored a current long-term trend. Read more...

IT Jobs Outpace Other Occupations A new report from the Information Technology & Innovation Foundation disputes the thinking that the U.S. has lost information technology jobs to offshoring and the end of the dot-com bubble. From 2001 to 2011, a decade characterized by recessions and jobless recoveries, employment in IT occupations grew more than 29 percent, faster than employment as a whole, which grew by only 0.2 percent. And over the course of the Great Recession, IT jobs have grown much faster than non-IT jobs. Read more... July Retail Sales Growth Beat Forecasts U.S. retail sales rose a higher-than-expected 0.8% in July, marking the first increase since March according to a Commerce Department report. The report fueled optimism that consumer spending has rebounded. Sales showed a 4.1 percent growth over last July, as employment and consumer confidence improved. Maryland sales taxes collected in July were reported to be up $6.6 million from last year. And sales tax collections for the fiscal year through July are running nearly 5% over last fiscal year. Meanwhile, shoppers were out in force during Maryland's tax-free week August 12-18. Measuring MD's Potential for Renewable Energy A new report from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory measures the potential for six different renewable energy technologies in all 50 states. The technologies include solar, wind, bio power, geothermal and hydropower technologies. The report assesses states' capacity based on factors such as land area, installed capacity and electric generation for each renewable energy technology available. According to the report, Maryland has enough rooftop solar power potential under current technologies to power 9 million homes, and enough offshore wind potential to power 36 million homes (at 700,000 homes per gigawatt).

Baltimore 5th Top Metro Area for Self-Employment Recent research from Economic Modeling Specialists International suggests that from 2001 to 2012, the selfemployed grew by 14.4%. Self-employment numbers from 2008 to the present show Baltimore is the 5th top metro area for self-employment growth (8.6%). Often overlooked parts of the economy are those whose jobs don't show up on payroll records because they work on individual contracts with employers or customers. It's a growing phenomenon that's being called the "1099 economy." While some of the growth in recent years is tied to layoffs by employer firms, the shift to self-employment began before the recession due to Internet growth, which makes it easier for some businesses to use independent contractors. Apprenticeships Lead to Greater Earnings August marks the 75th Anniversary of the National Apprenticeship Act, which launched the Registered Apprenticeship program. The apprenticeship model trains workers in skilled trades and expands opportunities in growing industries like computer programming, pharmacy technicians and home health aides. In 2011, Maryland graduated 1,457 apprentices, a 28 percent increase over the previous year. A study released by the U.S. Department of Labor found that those who complete a registered apprenticeship program earn at least a quarter of a million dollars more over the course of their lifetime.