Spotlight on Frederick's Economy

Frederick's diverse industry base is one of our community's great strengths. This diversity softens the local impact of economic downturns and shortens economic recovery time.

Here are a few facts about Frederick's economic - where we were, where we are today and where we see opportunities for the future.

From 2003 to 2007, the Frederick region experienced a 21% increase in jobs. Compare that to 10% statewide and 9% national growth over the same period - pretty impressive numbers! Topping the job growth sectors:
Professional, Scientific & Technical Services - 60% increase
Arts, Entertainment & Recreation - 57% increase
Accommodations & Food Services - 32% increase
Finance & Insurance - 29% increase

Industry sectors that lost jobs durintg that time include manufacturing (down 15%) utilities (down 10%), agriculture/forestry/fishing/hunting (down 5%) and information (down 2%).

For the past 3 years (2008 through 2010) job growth in the Frederick area has been relatively flat. This is when that diverse industry base comes into play - modest losses in some sectors which were off-set by modest gains in others. The theme we heard continuously these past few years - "Flat is the new up."

Turning our attention to 2011, we hope to say good-bye to 'flat'. At the City's Department of Economic Development (DED), we see tremendous opportunities in our target industries - biosciences, advanced technologies, manufacturing, professional services and tourism.

We are excited about the NCI-Frederick facility at Riverside Research Park, not only for the jobs and economic opportunity, but for the incredible promise this facility holds in the battle agains cancer and HIV. NCI-Frederick is one component of a vibrant and innovative bioscience community in Frederick that is now more than 70 companies strong.

We are encouraged by our innovative manufacturing base - companies such as EDCO and Stulz ATS, who have taken steps to remain competitive through implementation of LEAN manufacturing processes and R&D to development new product lines.

Last, but certainly not least, is the continuing economic impact of Fort Detrick and the 38 mission partners located on the post. Fort Detrick is as diverse as the community that surrounds it. Cancer and HIV research, cutting-edge healthcare innovations, state of the art forensic analysis labs, military medical logistics and acquisition, global communications - Fort Detrick's mission partners are on the forefront of research and innovation. Through employment, federal contracts technology transfer and partnerships with K-12 education, Fort Detrick makes a lasting and positive impact on Frederick's economy and our quality of life.

In the weeks ahead, the DED blog will examine each of our target industry sectors. Next week, look for Spotlight on Industry - Frederick Bioscience.