ANNAPOLIS, MD (March 30, 2012) – Governor Martin O’Malley today released the following statement on the U.S. Department of Labor’s release of employment data for the month of February. February was the sixth straight month of job growth. Maryland’s unemployment rate remains at 6.5 percent – the lowest unemployment rate in three years and nearly two full percentage points below the national rate of 8.3 percent. Since February of last year, Maryland employers added 47,000 jobs, 42,200 of which were in the private sector.
“Since February of last year, Maryland continued to create jobs, adding 47,000 jobs - 42,200 jobs in the private sector alone. Our unemployment rate of 6.5 percent remains nearly two percentage points below the national rate. Nearly 80 percent of jobs lost in Maryland during the recession have now been recovered – almost twice as fast as the U.S .economy as a whole.
“This steady progress in job creation is a positive sign that Maryland continues to move forward but the most important job we create is the next one. There is more work to be done and our focus remains on creating and saving jobs. Through programs like the Maryland Innovation Initiative that is now before the General Assembly and with existing programs like InvestMaryland, we will continue to create jobs and opportunity in Maryland. We recently held a successful first-in-the nation online auction to raise $84 million in venture capital through InvestMaryland to help businesses grow and thrive, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce ranks Maryland as America’s seventh best state for Innovation and Entrepreneurship.
“Expanding opportunity to strengthen and grow our middle class is a choice. Because we have chosen to make the modern investments a modern economy requires to create jobs– investments in education, investments in innovation and investments in infrastructure, more Marylanders are working this year than last. Together, we can expand opportunity today, so that our children can compete and win the jobs and opportunity of tomorrow.”