Pennsylvania has lost jobs every month since March, 2012--five straight months of job losses. In fact, the Commonwealth has lost cumulatively 19,400 since March. www.bls.gov/news.release/laus.nr0.htm.
And the Pennsylvania job losses come, despite a rising national tide in the same period. Since March 2012, more than 600,000 jobs have been created across America.
Job losses in Pennsylvania and job creation nationally means that the "Pennsylvania Advantage" is gone. No longer does Pennsylvania have an unemployment rate well below the nation's, as had been the case for a decade.
Pennsylvania's unemployment rate has jumped from 7.4% in April 2012 to 8.1% in August and now equals the national rate. The current trends could well mean that Pennsylvania will soon have an unemployment rate higher than the nation, something that has not been a fact for a very long time.
Pennsylvania's string of bad economic numbers drives home the point that the gas boon alone is not enough to bring prosperity to Pennsylvania, especially when state government slashes budgets for education and does not make needed investments in transportation. The gas industry provides a welcome, needed boost.
But it cannot erase strategic budgeting and economic development mistakes.
Moreover, Pennsylvania's population and economy must have more than 6 million jobs, and gas alone is never going to come close to providing full employment. Another way to make this point would be: Pennsylvania is not North Dakota or Kuwait.