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Maryland added 16,700 jobs in February; jobless rate down to 5%

Bolstered by strong gains in the education and health care and hospitality sectors, Maryland gained 16,700 jobs last month and saw its unemployment rate decline to 5%, preliminary federal data released Friday shows.

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics released monthly figures that indicate the state has added 92,100 jobs over the last year, an increase of 3.5%.

In addition, the BLS revised its previous estimates for December-January job totals. Instead of a loss of 8,100 jobs, the state saw a decline of 6,000 jobs, the bureau reported Friday.

The education and health services sector experienced the most growth in February, with an increase of 5,400 jobs; leisure and hospitality (4,700); Trade, Transportation, and Utilities (3,800). Other sectors that experienced growth include:  professional and business services (1,800); mining, logging, and construction (1,000); financial activities (600); other services (500) and information (200).

The manufacturing sector decreased by 200 jobs.