Infrastructure and Diversity Keep Baltimore County's Economy Moving Forward
Baltimore County is a survivor. Even as the national economy has slowed in recent years, the county has managed to move forward. A cooperative business environment contributes to this survival – one in which companies work together to solve economic problems. But perhaps the heart of its economic stability is Baltimore County’s diversity. Services such as construction and insurance constitute the largest employment sector. Manufacturing accounts for about 13 percent of the county’s jobs and there also is an increasing presence of federal government jobs. Medicare and Medicaid Services and the Social Security Administration headquarters are here, totaling more than 10,000 jobs. Baltimore County is Maryland's second largest job center. The county’s more than 22,000 businesses enjoy a low cost of living, close proximity to Washington D.C. and a local infrastructure that includes rail service, the Baltimore/Washington International Airport, the Glenn L. Martin State Airport, major highways such as I-95 and I-70 and the bustling Port of Baltimore. In fact, more than 126,000 jobs can be attributed to the port, which is comprised of 75 facilities on 45 miles of waterfront. But when businesses do trim their workforces, the Baltimore County Office of Employment and Training provides services for both job seekers and employers. When 850 Bethlehem Steel employees were displaced due to a buy-out, the office created a special outplacement unit to help them find new jobs. By September 2009, the local unemployment rate hovered around 7 percent, far below the national average of 10.2 percent at that time.