Governor Martin O'Malley today issued the following statement on the U.S. Department of Labor's release of preliminary employment data for the month of July:
"While this month's preliminary jobs report was disappointing, Maryland continues to show tremendous economic strength, having created 39,000 new jobs over the past 12 months. Our recovery from the recession has been fueled by a dynamic private sector that led the way by creating 9 out of every 10 new jobs. And Maryland's unemployment rate, while still too high, remains four percent below the national average.
"A broad array of economic indicators continue to show Maryland's economic strength- home sales are up 27% over-the-year, our median home sales price increased 10% over-the-year, reaching a five-year-high, and new unemployment insurance claims are down more than 4% compared to last July. In fact, new unemployment insurance claims have declined annually in 24 of the last 26 months. We expect the Bureau of Labor Statistics may once again significantly revise these preliminary numbers as they have in past months and years. For example, last month's preliminary jobs growth of 4,300 jobs was revised upwards by 1,200 to a net growth of 5,500 new jobs.
"In addition, all three bond rating agencies recently re-affirmed Maryland's fiscally responsible approach by certifying our State as one of only nine with a Triple A bond rating. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce ranks Maryland #1 for entrepreneurship and innovation for the second year in a row and in the top ten for economic performance for the fourth consecutive year. We know that there is still more work to be done, but by coming together to make the better choices to invest in a stronger future, we will continue to create opportunities that fuel a strong, growing and upwardly mobile middle class."