A Reminder About Job Numbers

Maryland Democrats are promoting to the max their new plan to defeat Governor Larry Hogan by focusing on economic issues:

The Maryland Democratic Party attacked Gov. Larry Hogan’s economic record on Tuesday, trying to undermine the Republican’s case for reelection by showing that recent job and wage growth in the state have lagged compared with nearby states and the nation.

“While Larry Hogan continues to tout so-called ‘economic success,’ Marylanders have been stuck with less money in their pockets and stagnating job growth under his watch,” party chair Kathleen Matthews said in statement accompanying a report criticizing the governor.
Citing data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the party noted that Maryland’s employment level has increased 3.56 percent, to 2.74 million jobs, since December 2014, the month before Hogan took office; employment for Virginia and the nation increased 4.08 percent and 4.14 percent, respectively, over the same period.
The report also said average hourly earnings for Maryland workers fell to $27.47 in May, a 3.98 percent drop compared with the inflation-adjusted figure for December 2014. Over that span, Delaware’s average hourly earnings jumped nearly 14 percent, to $25.50; Virginia’s climbed almost 4 percent, to $27.60; and Pennsylvania’s rose about 0.69 percent.

It’s amusing to see the Democrats try to attack Maryland on the economy at a time when Maryland has jumped 11 places in a list of top states to do business in since Governor Hogan took office.

The Post story of course quickly throws cold water on the Democrats by citing, you know, facts:

BLS data shows that the state gained 36,800 jobs during O’Malley’s two terms in office, compared with 93,300 during Hogan’s nearly 30-month tenure, using January of their first year in office as the baseline for both governors.

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Yes, the same numbers cited by the Democrats show that Maryland gained 250% more jobs with Governor Hogan in office than with Martin O’Malley in office. And Governor Hogan has had far less time to do it.

It’s funny that the Democrats are making hay about alleged job numbers because the Maryland Democratic Party has a sordid history with fudging job numbers for political gains. Let’s take a look at the wayback machine, shall we?

  • “However do you remember that pessimistic July jobs report the Department of Labor Licensing and Regulation the O’Malley administration tried to flush down the memory hole? You know the one that didn’t jibe with the O’Malley campaign’s rose colored glasses view of the economy.” September 21, 2010
  • “Democrats are usually seasonally adjusted data in their numbers. This is a fudged number that the Bureau of Labor Statistics does not use. The Department of Labor, Licensing and Revenue, the state agency for keeping track of these numbers, follows the Federal BLS standards.” January 20, 2017
  • Kara Markley, a mid-Atlantic regional economist with the BLS, made a similar observation. “We would typically compare the same month year-to-year with the not seasonally-adjusted data,” she said. That data paints a far different picture from the one O’Malley framed.” April 17, 2012
  • The O’Malley administration was less than truthful with us about the employment situation in Maryland, and they spent a great deal of time and effort to cover it up.” September 28, 2010
One thing hasn’t changed when it comes to the Democrats attempts to attack Governor Hogan, and it’s worth repeating what I wrote in January: In other words, the Maryland Democratic Party is once again fudging numbers to try to make Governor Hogan look bad and hope that nobody notices. Of course, such fudging of numbers is nothing new from Democrats; it was a hallmark of the administration of Martin O’Malley, after all. But it remains amazing the lengths that Democrats will go to in order to sully the name of Governor Hogan as they desperately claw to remain politically relevant against the wildly popular Governor.

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