Monday, June 20, 2011

Maryland's Shameful Distinction of Unemployment

You would think the state with the most government workers would be able to pad its employment numbers forever.  Alas, we see that as soon as government growth slows down, job growth in Maryland becomes extinct.

According to a Labor Department report, which became public over the weekend, Maryland ranks dead last - #50- in job creation.  While 22 states added jobs last year, Maryland shed 20,000 jobs, almost 1% of its workforce.  The report reveals that the abeyance of Maryland's job growth began to precipitate in recent months, as government agencies have incurred historic cuts (thanks to the Republican-held House).  This is truly pathetic because it shows that Maryland is impotent in job creation without the federal government.

It is also telling that Maryland's job market is so dismal, despite the fact that the state received adisproportionate amount of stimulus funds.  Don't expect Senators Cardin and Mikulski to admit to this stunning failure of Keynesian economics.  In fact, has anyone heard a statement from Maryland's most prominent federal office holders on the latest job numbers?

Even Governor O'Malley was largely silent about the jobs report until he put out a meaningless statement admitting that “May was a tough month for job creation in Maryland.”  However, he continued with the following subterfuge: (H.T. Daily Record

“other trends suggest that we continue to move in the right direction. On the year, Maryland has achieved the largest reduction in unemployment in nearly three decades.”

O'Malley fails to divulge that the drop in the unemployment rate from 6.9% to 6.8% is actually an indictment of his policies, when coupled with the loss in jobs.  As the Daily Record observes, "The jobs number is based on residency, and the unemployment percentage is based on that figure. The employment or payroll number is based on place of employment. So, more Marylanders were finding work outside the state in January and May."

So Marylanders are now being forced to look for jobs out of the state.  The reality is that the O'Malley administration has done everything in its power to scuttle job growth and energy production in western Maryland.  It is no surprise to find that Maryland ranks #50 in job creation.  After all, it ranks #50 in personal freedoms, and is near the bottom in regulation, taxation, and labor laws; not exactly a recipe for job creation.

While the anti-business climate in Maryland is not a recipe for job creation, it is a recipe for poverty.  According to the latest figures from the USDA, food stamp enrollment has doubled in Maryland since 2007-to nearly 677,000 people.  Worse, Maryland has the distinction of being second in the nation regarding food stamp fraud.  The Washington Examiner reports:

"Maryland ranks second in the nation when it comes to losses because of improper payments, according to 2009 data, the latest available. Only Texas lost more. For every $100 in benefits, Maryland paid $5.66 to people who weren't eligible. Virginia ranked seventh nationally with a rate of $4.68. The District actually lost the least, $3.35 per $100."

Memo to O'Malley, Cardin, and Mikulski: We need pay checks, not food stamps.  Stop obstructing shale fracking in western Maryland!

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