The bad month for Governor Martin O’Malley continues, with his new nemesis Change Maryland at the forefront once again. They did the research and determined that Maryland’s anemic employment gains were, in fact, no gains at all over the first six months of 2012 – as it turned out the Free State lost more jobs than any other state. Bureau of Labor Statistics data from the watchdog group indicates around 10,300 jobs were lost by Maryland during this time frame; indeed, that’s more than any other state.
And the news gets worse if you expand the period of study backward – only Pennsylvania has lost more jobs in this region than Maryland, and it’s a larger state.
So far Governor Martin O’Malley has been mum on this data – as opposed to previous releases by the group, where an O’Malley mouthpiece tried his best at obfuscation – but Change Maryland head Larry Hogan seems to be burnishing his gubernatorial credentials by pointing these dismal employment numbers out, stating in the accompanying release:
Governor O’Malley says repeatedly that Maryland has fared better than other states during the recession. He should be talking about our state’s performance relative to others in this region, not compared to Michigan or Nevada. Once again he is cherry picking data in an attempt to fool people.
As someone who has lost his job during the time period in question, I think Hogan may be on to something when he talks about the frequent tax increases and lack of spending discipline being an issue in the state.
Apparently Nancy Jacobs does too, as the State Senator and Second District Congressional challenger talked about job losses in her region during her opponent’s recent Congressional tenure:
News of layoffs has been especially bad in Congressional District 2 where I am the Republican nominee for Congress. On Friday two more Baltimore County companies announced layoffs. At Siemens in Dundalk, 38 jobs are being cut. Bank of America in Hunt Valley reports it will cut 55 employees in Hunt Valley. Eastern Baltimore County was especially hard it by the loss of 2000 jobs at RG Steel in Sparrows Point Plant earlier this month. We must ask what Dutch Ruppersberger what is he doing in Washington to address this issue so critical to his constituents!
Well, the truth of the matter is that doing something in Washington is the wrong approach – the better question to me is what Nancy Jacobs will undo in Washington. One who uses the slogan “Vote Jobs – Vote Jacobs” may be well-served to show what she can do. Luckily she does have a record:
Maryland Business for Responsive Government gives me a 100 percent ranking when it comes to my votes that improve business and create jobs.
But I wanted to get back to that raw data. Thanks to Jim Pettit, who forwarded me the data, I looked at all the states which lost jobs – here’s the list, in alphabetical order:
- Kansas lost 7,800 jobs.
- Maine lost 4,300 jobs.
- Maryland lost 10,300 jobs.
- Mississippi lost 4,100 jobs.
- Missouri lost 7,700 jobs.
- Nevada lost 400 jobs.
- New Hampshire lost 3,700 jobs.
- New Mexico lost 4,400 jobs.
- Rhode Island lost 800 jobs.
- Tennessee lost 4,200 jobs.
- West Virginia lost 6,800 jobs.
- Wisconsin lost 2,100 jobs.
So it’s true that in raw numbers Maryland performed the worst. But there is a proviso which Martin O’Malley may be able to hang his hat on just a little bit. These are job losses expressed as a percentage of the workforce for these states:
- Kansas, 0.58%
- Maine, 0.72%
- Maryland, 0.40%
- Mississippi, 0.38%
- Missouri, 0.29%
- Nevada, 0.04%
- New Hampshire, 0.59%
- New Mexico, 0.55%
- Rhode Island, 0.17%
- Tennessee, 0.16%
- West Virginia, 0.89%
- Wisconsin, 0.08%
Measured this way there are five states which did worse than Maryland: Kansas, Maine, New Hampshire, New Mexico, and West Virginia. So now we’re #46 instead of #51…woohoo!
But the other chart Change Maryland bases its assertions on compares Maryland to a peer group of surrounding states and Washington D.C. and tabulates the total employment figures from January, 2007 through last month. This time I will do both the total jobs gained or lost and percentage, along with peak and trough months:
- Maryland, a net 39,900 jobs lost (-1.53%) – peak February 2008, trough February 2010.
- Virginia, a net 32,100 jobs lost (-0.85%) – peak February 2008, trough February 2010.
- Delaware, a net 20,000 jobs lost (-4.55%) – peak February 2008, trough February 2010.
- Pennsylvania, a net 58,800 jobs lost (-1.02%) – peak April 2008, trough February 2010.
- West Virginia, a net 600 jobs gained (+0.08%) – peak September 2008, trough February 2010.
- District of Columbia, a net 46,200 jobs gained (+6.69%) – peak April 2012, trough June 2007.
Out of these states, only Delaware has fared worse in terms of a percentage of jobs lost. It’s also very telling that early 2008 was peak employment for most areas – except Washington, D.C. And while the others hit bottom in February 2010, the District – while in a bit of a lull – was still well above its pre-Obama low point.
So maybe the problem is in Washington, because these jobs are the fool’s gold of the economy – pencil pushers who add no real value.
And while the Change Maryland group is securing sensational headlines a little bit beyond the true scope of the revelations, the news is still quite bad for Martin O’Malley. As he tours the country on his perceived 2016 Presidential run, MOM’s failing to notice the vast majority of states are creating jobs despite his party’s best efforts. How long this can go on may depend on who is elected this fall.