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D E C E M B E R   1, .2 0 1 0

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Governor O'Malley (left) tours NIH Headquarters.
Gov. Tours NIH Headquarters

Joined by National Institutes of Health officials and the Federal Facilities Advisory Board, Gov. O’Malley toured NIH headquarters on Nov. 18. NIH employs 18,000 people on their Bethesda campus and awarded $2 billion in procurement contracts and $1.2 billion in research grants in Maryland last year. DBED will host Contract Connections on Dec. 13 to link businesses with the vast potential of more than 50 federal facilities and launched a B2G website with news and information on government contracts.


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Private Sector Drives Nearly 6,000 Job Gain
Maryland added 5,900 jobs (seasonally adjusted) in October, bringing total job gains for the year up to 40,600. Several other positive signs included broadly based job growth driven by the private sector which accounts for nearly 25,000 jobs gained this year. The state’s unemployment rate held steady at 7.4%, even with a spike in new labor force entrants. The national job market continues to grow at a more modest pace, adding private jobs for the tenth straight month in October. READ MORE.

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Local Biotechs Awarded $48.7M in Fed. Grants
136 Maryland biotech companies received federal tax credits as part of the Therapeutic Discovery Tax Credit program established with the federal health reform law approved in March. The companies received more than $48.7 million for 234 individual research projects. Maryland’s funding was the 4th largest, behind California, Massachusetts and New Jersey. The largest grants in Maryland went to Macrogenics ($1.7M), Champions Biotechnology ($1.4M), Lentigen ($1.2M) and ImQuest Biosciences ($1.2M).

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4,100 Retail Jobs Added; Best Growth in Nation
Maryland merchants expecting a robust holiday shopping season stepped up hiring in October offering holiday promotions right after Halloween. Retail job gains surged to 4,100 (seasonally adjusted), for a nation-leading 1.5% monthly growth rate [Table 1]. Growth was especially significant among electronics, clothing and department stores. The holiday shopping season appears off to a strong start with some Columbia Mall retailers reporting double-digit sales increases for Black Friday. READ MORE.

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Maryland Ranks 3rd in New Economy Index
The Kauffman Foundation ranked Maryland third again in its assessment of states' readiness to take advantage of growth opportunities in the new economy. Maryland ranks second or third in more indicators than any other state, and gained its highest scores for managerial, professional & technical jobs (2nd), workforce education (2nd), broadband telecommunications (2nd) and non-industry investment in R&D (2nd). Maryland’s scores are due in part to its high concentration of knowledge workers in federal laboratory facilities and related companies. Complete interactive report.

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State Economy Steady in 2009
Statistics released on Nov. 18 by the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis show that Maryland's real Gross Domestic Product increased slightly in 2009, despite decreases in most states. Maryland’s GDP of $259.29 billion, up 0.01%, bodes well for the state’s economy because U.S. real GDP by state declined 2.1% in 2009 after increasing 0.1% in 2008. The largest contributors to Maryland real GDP growth were government, and professional and technical services, which accounted for 0.57% and 0.39% growth respectively. Complete report.

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Growth Opps. for African American Businesses
Dr. Daraius Irani, Associate Economic VP at Towson University, examines growth potential for African American businesses in this month’s guest column: Maryland offers plenty of opportunities for African American businesses to be started as well as continue as an on-going concern. Moreover, these opportunities are not just limited to one or two business sectors, but are across all business sectors. Nationwide, only 7% percent of businesses are owned by African Americans while in Maryland this figure is 19%. Read complete column.

Economic Pulse is published by the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development. For a complete archive, visit our Publications page.