Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Stunning Fact: PA Unemployment Rate Rises During Last 12 Months Even As National Rate Declines

Pennsylvania is among the few states to have a higher unemployment rate in December 2012 than in December 2011. The facts are that Pennsylvania's unemployment rate was 7.9% in December 2012 and is up from 7.7% in December 2011.

Pennsylvania's economy is headed in the wrong direction, even as the national unemployment rate fell from 8.2% to 7.8%, and even as Pennsylvania becomes the third largest producer of natural gas in the country.  Indeed, after years of Pennsylvania's unemployment rate being well below the national unemployment rate, December 2009 marked the fourth month in a row, when Pennsylvania's unemployment rate is above or equal to the national average.

These are ugly facts that indict the economic development and budget policies of the Corbett Administration.  Corbett's failure is rooted in an assault on public education, including our state universities, that has destroyed at least 19,000 jobs.  His failure is also rooted in a mistaken belief that gas drilling and gas production alone can bring Pennsylvania a broad prosperity.

Pennsylvania requires approximately 6.5 million jobs to be at full employment.  Counting direct and indirect jobs created by gas drilling, gas drilling provides less than 2% of the jobs needed.  Of course, no single industry by itself can possibly generate all the jobs needed in the Commonwealth.  Until the Governor understands this fundamental point and reverses his war on public education, Pennsylvania's economy will remain a national laggard.


  1. I fear our Governor is placing all of his fish in one fish tank...while natural gas can be part of the economic picture it cannot be the only fish. His assault on education makes me wonder if he truly believes ALL of our young people will choose to work in the gasfields of PA. Here in Susquehanna County we see job growth connected to the industry. The worry of course, is what will be here after they move on. I have looked into that fish bowl and it holds one big well-fed fish and that fish has teeth.

  2. My husband and I live in upstate NY. There are several areas of NE PA that we used to visit as tourists. On these visits we would eat in restaurants, go to parks, maybe see a movie, shop for gifts, or buy produce from farm stands. Several years ago we made the mistake of eating at a restaurant that had outdoor seating that was ruined by the noise (and odors) from drilling-related truck traffic; inside, the restaurant was seating gas workers whose clothing was covered in mud (and who knows what else) from the gas fields. The experience was so off-putting we have not been back to that restaurant since that unpleasant evening. In fact, we have pretty much given up on the trips to NE PA that we used to take; a gas field is not our idea of a nice recreational area and I don't think we're alone in that opinion.

    Also, I know someone who used to have the Montrose area at the top of her list of nice places to live in retirement. She has since crossed that option off the list because she doesn't want to live in a gas drilling region.

    So yes, the gas industry is providing jobs, but it is probably costing other jobs. And at any rate, as Mr. Hanger has pointed out, the gas industry will, at best, provide only a tiny fraction of the jobs that PA needs.

  3. The interesting thing is no one ever looks at the reports put out by the DCED or other PA departments. They go by what people tell them. The said part is that during Basic Training the Drill's have everyone do a grape vine experiment. Every time the message ends up different. The same is going on in PA. Good find, but go more into the DCED reports like the State Land Use and Growth Management Report: http://newpa.com/webfm_send/1577

    1. BJ, I have started reading the document you mentioned. It doesn't sound like the 'Basic Training Drill's grapevine' is at work here:

      • "Sudden expansion in the natural gas industry is introducing environmental, infrastructure, economic, and social impacts, as well as an influx in population to primarily rural areas of the state." - pg 2-vi

      • "In September 2010, the state unemployment rate was 8.1 percent, compared to the June 2007 unemployment rate of 4.4 percent." - pg 2-ii. While the whole state varied from "under 7%" to "over 9%" unemployment, the northern tier counties which were enjoying a gas drilling boom were among the worst, varying from Potter (8.5%) and Cameron (13.4%) to Bradford (6.6%) and Tioga (7.0%). This is not how you bring economic prosperity to a region. It's how you drain off its resources and export the profits.

    2. I grew up in Southwestern Pa. and still have family and friends there. But I won't be visiting nearly as often as I used to while corbett is governor and the frackers are running the state.

  4. Gallup shows the unemployment rate rising while Obamaland shows it falling. The stock market is dropping after "the best retail performance in years". It's all a scam, ladies and gents. Better get out of the dollar while you can

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  5. Why then, did they cut my unemployment off at tier 3 last week. When last year with a lower rate people were able to receive this tier????????????