Thursday, January 29, 2015

O Say Can You See Frederick County?

The tax base as the result of tourism spending increased 3.7% in Frederick County and a resulting $13.9 million in consumer impact, according to the newly published 2014 Annual Tourism Development Report. The leisure and hospitality industry also added 21.4% more jobs over the past 5-years in Frederick County, higher than any other industry and from 2013-2014. The tourism industry remains something to watch in Frederick County.

The Maryland Office of Tourism just released Destination Maryland: The Official Guide to Maryland State Travel many references to Frederick County including the C&O Canal as #7 of the Top 20 Ways to Experience Authentic Maryland and Frederick Keys Baseball in Classic Ballparks at #17. The County's Wine Trail, Cunningham Falls, Downtown Frederick, Civil War Museum of Medicine, Rose Hill Manor Park and Museum, New Market - The Antiques Capital of Maryland, the county's many covered bridges, world class restaurant scene, craft distilleries and many civil war and scenic attractions are also mentioned in the statewide guide.

For more information on what to see and do in Frederick County, visit the Official Frederick County Tourism Website.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Maryland Graduation Rates Hits Record High while Frederick County Exceeds Graduation Standards

More Maryland students are receiving their high school diplomas than ever before, according to data released yesterday by the Maryland State Department of Education. As the graduation rate has hit record levels, the dropout rate has also fallen to new lows for the state.

The four-year cohort graduation rate for the state of Maryland reached an all-time high of 86.4% in 2014 while Frederick County's graduation rate was 92.6%. Frederick County's high school graduation rates have remained above 90% over the last five years. Frederick County's drop-out rate for 2014 was 3.91% which is also significantly lower than the state's drop-out rate of 8.35%.

The complete Maryland Report Card can be found at

December Monthly Business Economic Indicators

The December Edition of the Monthly Business Economic Indicators is packed full of new second quarter 2014 Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation information. This information is released 4 times a year and allows us to track trends in industry and employment growth.  To download the full report, please click here.


  • At 4.6% for November 2014, it remains at the second lowest point all year and still consistently lower than the State and U.S. average
  • Frederick County unemployment rates over the past 5 years at this time –
    • November 2013: 5.1%
    • November 2012: 5.5%
    • November 2011: 5.6%
    • November 2010: 6.6%
Job Growth
  • Overall, employment has grown at the rate of about 1% per year since 2010.
  • From 1st quarter 2014 to 2nd quarter 2014, Frederick County added 113 jobs or 0.1%.

Average Weekly Wage Growth
  • The average weekly wage per worker in Frederick County has slowed down some since 2013.
    • In second quarter 2014, it was $899 and in second quarter 2013, it was $911.
  • Since 2010, the average weekly wage has increased overall to 5.6%
  • The average weekly wage per worker in the state of Maryland was $1,023 in second quarter was $1,023 and grew 6.9% during the same time frame.

Industry Trends
  • The industries that had the highest increase in employment since 2010 were: Leisure and Hospitality (21.4%); Construction (18.0%) and Natural Resources and Mining (14.5%).
    • Of note, in 2012, construction jobs were at a 5-year loss of -21.44%, in 2013 Construction jobs increased 6.9% and in 2014, we are seeing double digit percentage growth.
  • The industries that had the lowest percentage of increase in employment since 2010 were: Financial Activities (-19.4%), Information (-13.4%) and Professional and Business Services (-1.8%).
    • Of note, in 2012, Financial Activities jobs were at a 5-year loss of -12.72% and then in 2013, at a -18.9% so this has been increasing with each year overall.
    • Also of note in the Professional and Business Sector, this is the first time we are seeing a negative job growth overall since 2010. In 2012, employment was at a 5-year increase of 9.55% and in 2013, it was at a 5.8% 5-year increase.
  • The industries that had the highest increase in number of new businesses since 2010 were: Financial Activities (15.6%), Natural Resources and Mining (13.0%) and Education and Health Services (11.7%).
    • Of note, even though Financial Activities has gained the most in new businesses, the industry saw a -19.4% loss in employment over the last 5 years.
  • The industries that had the lowest increase in number of new businesses since 2010 were: Information (-10.1%), Construction (-4.6%), and Manufacturing (5.0%)
    • Of note, Construction businesses were at a -21.44% decrease over the past 5-years in 2012 and at 5-year decrease of -5.2% in 2013 so good news for the Construction industry! The same can be said for the Manufacturing industry. In 2012, they were at a -17.6% decrease in 5-year growth, in 2013, the industry improved slightly with a -2.4% 4-year decrease and is now seeing positive growth.
New Business Licenses Issued
The one year chart seems to show peaks and valleys and a positive trend for December.

Residential Housing Market
There are more houses on the market now than last year at a 35.2% increase in active inventory and a 5.7% increase in the number sold since last year. The average price has dropped slightly by -1.6%

Countywide Permits
2014 saw the second highest number of commercial and industrial permits over the past 5 years at 928 and the second highest in commercial and industrial construction costs over the past 5 years at $164,822,919.