After being a national leader in job creation during 2010, Pennsylvania fell below the national average for job creation in 2011. Pennsylvania's recent poor job performance is particularly troubling, given its gas production boom, and puts a spotlight on its state budget and economic development policies. Pennsylvania was the only oil and gas boom state not to be above the national average.
From November 2010 to November 2011, the nation created 1.2% more jobs, but Pennsylvania generated just 0.9%. States like Massachusetts, California, Vermont, Washington approximately created jobs at twice the rate of Pennsylvania in this period. Other energy boom states like North Dakota, Wyoming, Oklahoma created jobs three to five times faster than Pennsylvania. These numbers are drawn from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and were reported in the December 24th, NYT.
To make matters more troubling, Pennsylvania's job performance was worse from May to November 2011 than from November 2010 to April 2011. In fact, Pennsylvania ranked among the top states for job creation from November 2010 to April 2011 and then among the worst from May 2011 to November 2011. Pennsylvania killed its job creation momentum in May, 2011.
In other words, the Pennsylvania economy's job creation numbers relative to the US got worse, as the year passed. This trend bears watching and means that Pennsylvania may be among the bottom ten to 15 states for job creation for the period May 2011 to May 2012.
Moreovoer, Pennsylvania is the only state with a booming oil and gas economy that could not beat the US national average for job creation in 2011. How could that be? One explanation is the huge slashes to education in the current state budget that destroyed 20,000 jobs since May, 2011.