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A P R I L   2 6, .2 0 1 1

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Governor O'Malley meets with a  Science + Technology Park researcher at Johns Hopkins.
Gov. O’Malley, MEDC Release 5-Year Strategic Plan

Joined by Gov. O’Malley, elected officials and life sciences companies, the Maryland Economic Development Commission released its five-year strategic plan, Charting Maryland’s Economic Path: Discovery, Diversity & Opportunity. The plan was announced at the Science + Technology Park at Johns Hopkins, now 80% full and new home of the Lieber Institute for Brain Development, Personal Genome Diagnostics and Inostics. Maryland has an outstanding innovation economy infrastructure, ranking 2nd in the nation by the Milken Institute for technology and science assets. Full Report | Exec. Summary.


SemaConnect CEO Mahi Reddy and Gov. Malley demonstrate an electric vehicle power station at an Earth Day event
Biz Leaders Celebrate $70M InvestMaryland Passage
SemaConnect CEO Mahi Reddy (left with Gov. O’Malley at an Earth Day event) was just one of many business leaders, elected officials and entrepreneurs honored by the state last week during an InvestMaryland ‘Recognition Reception’ held at the Chesapeake Innovation Center. Passed during this 2011 legislative session, InvestMaryland will provide at least $70 million in venture capital to Maryland’s startup firms through a tax credit auction for qualifying insurance companies. READ MORE.

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MD Unemployment Rate Falls Below 7%
The number of employed Marylanders jumped by almost 12,000 in March, bringing the state’s unemployment rate (seasonally adjusted) to 6.9% and below 7% for the first time in two years. The unemployment rate had fallen by a percentage point over the previous year and by 0.5% since December alone. Since early last year, the rural sections of Maryland have seen the sharpest declines in the unemployment rate [Table 1]. The seasonally unadjusted rate fell by 1.3% in nine eastern shore counties and by 1.5% in Western Maryland. READ MORE.

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Downtown Baltimore Attracts Talented Youth
Over the last decade, urban centers have increasingly become the residential destination of choice for young college graduates, according to a new analysis by CEOs for Cities. In Baltimore, the population of college-educated 25- to 34-year-olds grew in the central business district by 66%, the 4th largest gain among the nation’s largest metropolitan areas. The study also notes that increasing the percentage of a city’s population with four-year college attainment by just one percentage point yields a very big increase in personal income in the metro area.

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Maryland Ranks High for Small Biz R&D Awards
Maryland companies received 112 Phase II Small Business Innovation Research Program (SBIR) awards in 2009, the 6th highest nationally according to a State Science and Technology Institute analysis. These included 54 DOD awards, 39 from NIH and 7 each from NASA and NSF. SBIR funds early-stage R&D projects at small technology companies -- projects that serve a federal agency need and have the potential for commercialization in private sector and/or military markets. READ MORE.

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Western Maryland Incomes Grow in 2009
Per capita income in Western Maryland averaged $34,067 in 2009 compared to $33,369 in 2008, a 2.1% increase, according to a Bureau of Economic Analysis report. Allegany County incomes increased 4%, the largest in the state.  Southern Maryland incomes increased 1.3% in 2009 led by St. Mary’s County with 3.3% income growth. St. Mary’s County experienced 7.2% increase in wages and salaries, followed by Howard County with a 1.8% increase in wage income. Nationally, personal income fell 1.7% in 2009 after growing 4% in 2008.

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Continued Improvement in U.S. Economy
March’s job growth was a replay of February’s and a positive sign for the national economy. With 216,000 jobs added in March the U.S. has added over 400,000 jobs in two months. Both months saw broadly based job growth, led by the private sector [Figure 1]. Reviewing longer-term trends, the private sector added jobs for 13 straight months and manufacturing added jobs for the fifth straight month after shrinking by 2.2 million after the 2007-2009 recession started. READ MORE.

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