The disastrous management of Pennsylvania's economy and state budget pushed the state unemployment rate to 8.2% in January up from 7.9% in December. That's bad enough. But it gets worse.
During the last 12 months, Pennsylvania's unemployment rate jumped from 7.6% in January 2012 to 8.2% in January 2013. http://www.bls.gov/news.release/archives/laus_03132012.htm. Pennsylvania is likely the worst performing state in the country during the period.
Governor Corbett took office in January 2011, when the state unemployment rate was 8.2% and the national rate was 9.0%. In January 2011, the state unemployment rate was well below the national rate of unemployment and was for nearly all of the Rendell Administration. The days when Pennsylvania's unemployment rate was routinely lower than the nation are gone, thanks to the Corbett Administration's series of mistakes.
Two years after Corbett took offices, as of January 2013, the national unemployment rate had fallen from 9.0% in January 2011 to 7.9%. By comparison, Pennsylvania's rate of unemployment had not fallen at all. It was 8.2% in January 2013, exactly the same as in January 2011.
Moreover, the unemployment trends in Pennsylvania were worse in January 2013 than in January 2011 when rates were heading down. Things are headed in the wrong direction now. Indeed Pennsylvania's unemployment rate went up considerably over the last 12 months.
Pennsylvania's tragically bad unemployment numbers prove that Governors make a difference for better or worse. In Pennsylvania, Governor Corbett has made things much worse.
Corbett's failure is rooted in the fact that the Governor--a career prosecutor--does not understand the economy and how state government's actions and decisions create and keep jobs. The Governor actually believes that the gas industry by itself can bring broad prosperity to Pennsylvania. He actually believes attacking public education and state universities creates jobs. And he actually believes missing two construction seasons, without a transportation plan, helped the economy.
Unfortunately, the Governor is tragically wrong on jobs and the economy.