Employment in the Washington region appears to have avoided a sequester-related bruising in May, a Friday report from the Labor Department showed, although the jobless rate rose in Maryland and Virginia and remained high in the District.
Job gains and losses in the area’s contracting industry and government sector did not vary widely from those seen before the automatic federal spending cuts went into effect this year. But the data also did not show especially strong job growth, a sign that the economic recovery is chugging along here but is not in overdrive.
“One would have anticipated a meaningful change in the trajectory of labor market performance in this part of the country,” said Anirban Basu, chief executive of the Baltimore economic consulting firm Sage Policy Group. “For the most part, that just has not happened.”
In Maryland, the unemployment rate rose from 6.5 percent to 6.7 percent as the state added 4,600 jobs. The professional services sector saw the biggest growth, adding 4,700 positions. Maryland also gained 1,800 government jobs. The trade and transportation sector, which includes retail positions, added 2,200 jobs. The construction industry showed the biggest losses, shedding 3,100 positions.