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 May:
"This was a disappointing monthly report after what has been a solid steady year of job creation and recovery. After creating 35,600 net new jobs over the past 12 months, today, 30,800 more Marylanders are working than were at this time last year. This is the best May to May for job creation since before the Bush recession. For 24 months in a row, our monthly job growth has been higher than the previous years. Though Maryland's unemployment rate increased slightly, it still remains nearly 20 percent below the national average.
"This week, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce ranked Maryland #1 in the nation for entrepreneurship and innovation, and in the Top 5 states for economic performance -- for the third year in a row. It is not by chance, but because of the choices we've made together to expand opportunity and invest in the skills, talents, innovation and education of our people so they can compete and win in the New Economy.
"Unfortunately, even as Maryland continues to recover from this economic downturn, some of our elected representatives in Washington no longer believe they were sent there to make the choices that will strengthen and grow the ranks of an upwardly-mobile middle class. Instead of promoting job growth and prosperity for the American people, some members in Congress have chosen to block the bipartisan, job-creating policies that can strengthen and grow our nation's economy -- the American Jobs Act, the Surface Transportation Reauthorization proposal, incentives for clean energy and American independence from foreign oil, the Small Business Innovation Program, and the reauthorization of the Export Import Bank. Some may say that teachers, firefighters and police officers are not critical to our nation's workforce, but we believe that every job counts.
"A prosperous economy works for everyone, not just for a wealthy few, and a discourse that divides us will not help our nation's recovery."