When Gov. Larry Hogan Jr. took office in Jan. 2015, signs began to appear on Maryland highways saying the state is “Open for Business.”
That phrase was part of Hogan’s campaign pledge and inauguration speech. Hogan had vowed to make Maryland’s regulatory environment more friendly to businesses and entrepreneurs.
And some say Hogan has done just that.
“I would put what the governor has done and what the president has done, together, and say that the business climate, because of the two, has changed in a significant way,” John T. Williams, president, and CEO of the 113-year-old Hagerstown-based Jamison Door company, told the Baltimore Post-Examiner.
Nearly five years later Hogan is serving his second term as governor and the numbers indicate that Maryland’s economy has vastly improved compared to when former Gov. Martin O’Malley (2007-15) led the state. O’Malley’s tenure was marked by companies cutting jobs, closing, and moving to other states.
Under Hogan 6,390 businesses have been created in Maryland, according to the data compiled by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics during the first quarter of this year.
Maryland has added 126,000 new jobs under Hogan as of September, according to the Maryland Department of Commerce.
That number stands in stark contrast with the estimated 1,848 businesses and 32,000 jobs the Bureau estimates were created during the eight years of the O’Malley administration.
Maryland’s unemployment rate was 5.4% when Hogan took office. Today the state’s unemployment rate is 3.7%.
From January 2015 to September 2019, Maryland’s job growth was 4.8%, which placed the state 29th nationally.
“From day one, Governor Hogan has worked hard to make Maryland a more welcoming and supportive place to do business,” Maryland Department of Commerce spokesperson Daniel Leaderman said. “This effort has included eliminating hundreds of burdensome regulations, improving customer service throughout state government, making it easier for businesses to access the information and services they need, and implementing new incentives such as our More Jobs for Marylanders program, which supports our manufacturing sector. We are also continually marketing Maryland as a state that is “Open For Business.”
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