Governor's Economic Update: November 5, 2009
I’m Governor Martin O’Malley, and welcome to the first in a series of weekly economic updates you can find right here on this website. In these tough economic times, it’s important that we’re all dealing with the same set of facts – the good and the bad. So I’m pleased to share with you, in real time, the state of Maryland’s economy.
We learned this week that our national economy grew by three and a half percent in the third quarter, with economists now saying that things are moving in the right direction. This is encouraging news, yet all of us agree that we’re not out of the woods yet. Not as a country. Not as a State.
Yet even with the challenges that we still face, Maryland’s unemployment rate – while not as low as we’d like – continues to outperform our neighboring states and those across the country. Our rate of 7.2 percent has consistently run well below the national average.
And there are other positive signs:
- Last week we reported that we’ve created or saved nearly 14,000 jobs from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
- According to the Maryland Association of Realtors, third quarter real estate sales were 15% higher this year than last.
- And Maryland companies are showing their resiliency with the Bloomberg Maryland stock index growing 70% since March.
This week we received word that Black and Decker, headquartered in Towson, MD, is merging with Stanley Works in a $4.5 billion deal. I’ve directed our Department of Business and Economic Development to work with any and all impacted workers.
In other economic news this week…
- Booz Allen Hamilton – one of the nation’s premiere security and IT firms – will hire more than 120 employees in the next 12 months, boosting their Anne Arundel based workforce to 2,000 people.
- Baltimore County-based Mars Super Markets purchased a 33,000 square foot building in Rosedale that the grocery retailer will use for its new corporate headquarters beginning in 2010.
- And, in Hagerstown, Sierra Nevada was awarded a $600 million contract by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection program, enabling that company to hire 100 people at their Washington Co. factory, boosting total employment there to 600 and allowing them to custom fit the agency’s aircraft with radio communications and sensor equipment.
Our progress as a state depends on the prosperity of our people. If we’re going to turn the corner from recovery to prosperity, we need your help.
Over the past several months, I’ve been meeting with small business owners and our Small Business Task Force, and we’re developing and implementing a strategic plan to strengthen our small business community to capitalize on our strengths as One Maryland.
While there is an emerging consensus that things are getting better we still have a ways to go. The good news is that the strengths, the potential, and the assets of innovation are right here, in Maryland.