Governor Martin O'Malley today released the following statement on the U.S. Department of Labor's release of preliminary employment data for the month of March. Marylanders added 1,500 jobs in March, the seventh consecutive month of job growth.
"Since March of last year, the people of our State have created 49,600 jobs, 47,700 of them in the private sector. So far this year, we've created 20,200 net new jobs--our best start to a year since at least 1990 (the year BLS began reporting seasonally adjusted jobs data). Maryland has also recovered 80 percent of the jobs lost during the Bush recession, nearly double the national recovery rate.
"As more Marylanders find work and seek employment, our unemployment rate increased slightly to 6.6 percent, while remaining 24 percent below the national average, and .5 percentage points lower than the same time last year. This is a sign that we are moving in the right direction. But there is still more work to do. The most important job we create is the next one.
"We must come together to protect our commitment to job creation, education, and innovation to move our State forward. We cannot afford to take steps back. Progress is a choice we must make now to provide a better future for our children."