Buried in Monday's report from the Conference Board on help-wanted ads were several encouraging new measurements showing that Baltimore and Maryland continue to lead the nation in job openings.
The Conference Board counts online job openings from state to state and month to month and matches them up against unemployment rates -- ie. supply vs. demand. The latest figures add to the good news delivered by Indeed.com on the Maryland employment market in the second quarter, which I wrote about last week. The hiring picture was decent then; it's even better now.
"Modest strength for the last few months seen in several large states in the South including North Carolina, Virginia and Maryland" was one of the deck heads in the press release. Maryland, for example, listed 3,300 more openings in July than in June -- about a 3 percent increase, the private research group said. Nationally there were virtually no month-to-month growth.
Maryland had the best ratio in the nation of the number of jobs listed compared with unemployed people seeking work; to wit, there are two people looking for work for every one help-wanted posting. Not perfect, but compare that with Michigan, where there are 10 people looking for work for every opening listed. In Pennsylvania there were nearly five unemployed folks for every opening.
On a metro level, Baltimore was No. 9 nationwide for the total number of ads. (New York is No. 1, but only because it's huge.) Metro Baltimore was No. 2 for the number of ads measured against population and No. 3 for ads measured against the number of unemployed people.
All this suggests that the Maryland economy is set to grow in the next few months, if maybe only gradually. That's good news for everybody including the state pols who are trying to make the budget balance. For more on the Baltimore jobs outlook see Friday's Hancock column.