Pennsylvania is slipping down the state ranks for job creation over the last year, after strong performance in 2010.
Pennsylvania ranks 36th from May 2011 to May 2012 for job creation, when it ranked 12th in 2010.
http://keystoneresearch.org/publications/research/falling-behind-jobs. And for more recent periods than the last 12 months, Pennsylvania's ranking is even lower than 36th. From April to June, job creation was approximately zero in the Commonwealth.
Importantly, Pennsylvania had ranked 12th in job creation in 2010 so the recent performance is a major drop in economic performance. Questions come to mind such as, Why is the home of the Marcellus Shale boom ranking lower in job creation from May 2011 to May 2012 than in 2010?
The slow down in drilling that began in fall of 2011 might be one partial explanation, but massive layoffs--tens of thousands--in education are a bigger factor. The poor comparative, recent job creation in Pennsylvania is a stark reminder that natural gas jobs are needed--desperately so--but Pennsylvanians require many more jobs than the natural gas industry alone can provide.
The Commonwealth also must understand that excellent education and training of its people, health of its citizens, world class infrastructure, a clean environment, and research and development are indispensable foundations for job creation and competitiveness. The hammering of education budgets is especially destructive, both in the short term by destroying tens of thousands of teaching positions and in the long term by undermining the ability of Pennsylvanians to compete in the modern world.