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Business

O’Malley Touts Strong December Jobs Report

Christopher Connelly
/
WYPR

Standing with workers at the Domino Sugar refinery in Baltimore, Governor Martin O’Malley announced Tuesday that Maryland added 7,300 new jobs last month.

He said it was the strongest December jobs report in a decade, and said that Maryland is one of only 17 states that have created at least as many jobs as were lost during the Great Recession.

“We have achieved the fastest rate of new job creation of any state in the mid-Atlantic since the depths of the recession,” O’Malley said, edging out Pennsylvania, Delaware and Virginia.

The state’s unemployment rate fell to 6.1 percent last month – lower than the national average of 6.7 percent. O’Malley said investments in transportation and education have made the state’s economy stronger.

But the governor said there’s still work to be done, and he called for programs to bolster the middle class, and renewed his call for raising the minimum wage. About two-thirds of the new jobs were in service sectors such as food service and hospitality.