Baltimore's strong economy is owed to several factors, among them its thriving port, excellent transport infrastructure, and strategic location along the economically vibrant Washington DC-Boston corridor. Historically, manufacturing and steel production were also key components of the city’s economy.
Manufacturing remains big business in Baltimore, with food manufacturers McCormick and Co and chemical company W.R.Grace and Co being the major employers in the city. However, economic activity in Baltimore is now much more diversified than it once was.
While the job market may be considerably less competitive than in other east coast cities, Baltimore is increasingly regarded as a great place for those starting out in their field of work, people looking for a career change, or those looking to strike a healthier work-life balance.
Job market in Baltimore
Being home to just four Fortune 500 companies, Baltimore’s job market may not look all that enticing when compared to those of other east coast cities such as Boston, New York, and Washington DC. However, the city is developing at a rapid rate and unemployment has declined steadily over the last few years.
New arrivals with a relevant background in education and health services shouldn’t struggle to find work as these sectors are thriving in Baltimore. The finance, business, and construction industries are also experiencing relative growth.
More recently, Baltimore has been affectionately dubbed "Smalltimore" thanks to the city’s focus on supporting small businesses, and it has become known as something of a hub for entrepreneurs.
Finding a job in Baltimore
The internet is a good starting point when it comes to looking for job opportunities in Baltimore. Most employers advertise their vacancies online, either on the company website or through recruitment agencies.
Local industry-specific agencies are also well placed to help new arrivals find jobs in their chosen fields. Recruiters tend to have an intimate knowledge of the job market in Baltimore and have established relationships with companies, allowing for a straightforward process of connecting suitably-qualified candidates with employers.
Networking is another viable avenue for seeking out lucrative business opportunities or finding work in Baltimore. Thankfully, it is an exceptionally friendly city where people are often more than happy to offer advice and help facilitate new business relationships.
Work culture in Baltimore
Although it may not be especially dynamic, Baltimore's economy is robust, the city's unemployment is relatively low, and many of its residents enjoy a good level of job security. Work culture does, however, depend tremendously on one's industry and company.
Many established companies in Baltimore provide their employees with substantial benefits and opportunities for career progression. Start-ups tend to offer their employees greater flexibility, although salaries are sometimes lower.
On the whole, the work environment in Baltimore is not as fast-paced or competitive than those of nearby cities such as New York or Washington DC, but this doesn’t necessarily mean that employees in Baltimore are any less hardworking and industrious. Instead, it indicates that there is a greater focus on people having a healthy work-life balance.
►Entrepreneurs looking to do business in Baltimore will find some useful insights into American business culture on the Doing Business in the USA page.
Are you an expat living in Baltimore?
Expat Arrivals is looking for locals to contribute to this guide, and answer forum questions from others planning their move to Baltimore. Please contact us if you'd like to contribute.
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