Gov. Martin O’Malley touted preliminary numbers released Friday that showed a net increase of 800 jobs in Maryland in July, while the chairman of the Montgomery County Republican Party seized on the revised numbers for June that he said show the state’s job growth is not as robust as O’Malley predicted.
The state’s unemployment rate increased one-tenth of 1 percent to 7 percent between June and July, according to the report by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The number of unemployed Marylanders increased to 215,300 in July, up from 211,700 in June.
The national average unemployment rate was 8.3 percent.
Private sector jobs increased by 22,600 between July 2011 and July 2012.
O’Malley (D) called the numbers “the best July to July of private sector growth since before the Bush recession,” but added a word of election year caution.
“We cannot afford to go back to the job-killing policies that led our nation to record job losses and badly damaged state economies,” he said in a statement. “We cannot afford to slash the safety net that so many of our most vulnerable people depend on, and we cannot afford to make deep and lasting cuts to critical job-creating initiatives as we fight to make progress in this recovery.”
Baltimore Business Journal reported a breakdown of the numbers in various sectors of the state economy, noting that the number of private sector jobs grew by 2,400 between June and July, while the number of government jobs decreased by 1,600.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics revised their preliminary June jobs report upward by 2,900 jobs—hardly the significant revision O’Malley predicted last month, Mark Uncapher, chairman of the Montgomery County Republican Party, said in a statement.
“In the face of higher unemployment, it is another indicator of a failed economic strategy,” Uncapher said.
Virginia was second among states adding the most jobs, with 21,300, a 0.6 percent increase month-over-month. But Virginia also recorded a 0.2 percent month-over-month increase in its unemployment rate, which stands at 5.9 percent, according to the preliminary numbers.
O’Malley is scheduled to debate Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) . The tone of the presidential campaign and the state of the economy will be up for discussion. The governors are chairmen of the governors associations of their respective parties.