Over the last few months I've been walking the main streets of my district visiting small business owners and discussing the economy. I've spoken with more than 100 business owners about the challenges they face in this tough economy. I have been so impressed by the resilience of the people I meet, and their determination to fight through these difficult times. The hard work and entrepreneurial spirit of the American people have always been our most important economic assets. That strength in the face of difficult circumstances is now being rewarded as the economy begins to show signs of improvement. In Congress, I am fighting and will continue to fight for working families and those small business owners that I've met on my listening tour of main street.
I want to share some encouraging statistics that point to economic recovery. We've had positive job growth every month of this year, creating more than 500,000 jobs1. This is in direct contrast with the final three months of the previous administration, when we were losing an average of 726,000 jobs each month2. The April 2010 job creation numbers were the best in four years, and Maryland had its largest gain in jobs for that period ever documented, creating 36,800 jobs in March and April3. Much of this progress results from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, which invested in direct job creation and provided critical tax relief for millions of American families and small businesses.
After returning to positive growth mid-way through last year, GDP has increased for three consecutive reporting periods, including a 3 percent increase in the first quarter of this year. Growth in the manufacturing sector has also been encouraging and consumer spending has rebounded to pre-recession levels.
These benchmarks demonstrate without question that our economy is better off than it was a year ago. The policies we have implemented, such as the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, are having a positive effect.
Even though we have turned a corner, I recognize that no recovery is sufficient as long as a large number of Americans are unemployed. I've heard your continued concerns. I will keep fighting to make our economy work for regular Americans and to put in place a regulatory framework that protects consumers, investors, and taxpayers. I will support policies that reward work and innovation. Many of you have written to me about jobs and the economy, and I thank you for staying in touch. I hope you will continue to do so in the future.
John P. Sarbanes
1Bureau of Labor Statistics
2Bureau of Labor Statistics
3Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation