Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot has publicly expressed concern over recent Bureau of Labor Statistics figures indicating that Maryland lost 11,000 jobs in June. While we share his concern, there's a good chance that these preliminary figures will be adjusted for June as they were in May.
The raw numbers indicate that Maryland added 2,100 jobs. Warm winter weather may have affected seasonal calculations, especially in northern states, but it's unlikely that we lost jobs.
Mr. Franchot is also distressed by Maryland's ranking 48th in the recently-concluded fiscal year for private earnings growth. We need not worry. It's unrealistic to expect a great deal more growth since Maryland is already among the top states for highest per capita income.
Our $500 million structural deficit does remain a concern. Fortunately, it comprises just 3.5 percent of our budget. Virtually all states are addressing shortfalls as stimulus funds run out and revenues remain low. We face a smaller deficit than many states, and certainly not the 24 percent deficit of "business friendly" Texas.
Speaking of business friendly, Mr. Franchot seems to believe that Maryland is not, but it's difficult to respond to unsubstantiated concerns. The bottom line is that we are creating new jobs and businesses in Maryland, and our unemployment rate, even if the preliminary jobs loss numbers aren't revised and it remains at 6.9 percent, is well below the 8.2 percent national average.
Carol Voyles, Sherwood