Friday, March 1, 2013

Stunning Fact: Average Annual Unemployment Rate Declines In 46 States But NOT In Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania's terrible economic performance since 2011 is becoming stark and standing out.  Although 46 states had a lower average annual unemployment rate in 2012 than in 2011, Pennsylvania is not one of them.

Instead Pennsylvania is one of the 4 struggling, underperforming states whose unemployment rate did not decline or rose in 2012.  While 46 states saw their unemployment rates decline in 2012 compared to 2011, Pennsylvania's rate did not improve at all, remaining at 7.9% in 2012 and 2011. Those are the ugly facts for Pennsylvanians.

The average annual unemployment rate nationally in 2012 was 0.8% lower than in 2011, a significant year-to-year improvement.

Disastrous state budget, education, energy, health care, transportation, and economic development policies pursued in Pennsylvania by the Corbett Administration are overwhelming the positive impacts of both the national economic improvement that pushes unemployment rates down in 46 states and Pennsylvania's gas boom that has created about 100,000 jobs directly and indirectly.  Given that terrible economic performance, Governor Corbett has earned his low, low approval ratings.


  1. Rather interesting "stunning facts" are cited in this post. A look at the BLS tables linked to suggests not so much "stun". PA has the lowest unemployment rate of its peer group of states; PA had a larger growth of employment 2012/2011 than its peers; suggesting that PA's labor participation rate increased. This is normally a positive sign that the long-term unemployed are beginning to see hope of finding a job.

    The first linked table shows PA essentially at the national average on the measures given ... again, no stun.

    I just "discovered" this blog through GWPF links, and was pleased to see the "Tired of ideological junk" tag. However, in reading the fine print about Mr. Hanger, I see he is a candidate for governor of PA as a Democrat. Thus, I now understand Mr. Hanger's characterization of these "unstunning" statistics as a "terrible economic performance".

    Credibility hangs by a thread ....

    1. Pennsylvania is one of three Marcellus states producing gas--Ohio and West Virginia being the two others. Ohio's average annual unemployment rate fell from 8.6 in 2011 to 7.2 in 2012. West Va's fell from 7.8 to 7.3. As for Pa, Pa stayed put at 7.9 in 2011 and 2012--one of just 4 states to not have their unemployment rate decline.

      Compare PA to other top 5 gas producing or energy producing states in the nation. PA ranks 3rd in total energy production. Yet, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Wyoming, Texas, Alaska and other top energy producing states all saw their 2012 unemployment rate fall compared to 2011. Again, Just Not PA.

      How about bordering states Maryland and Delaware. Oops. They too had declines in average annual unemployment rates in 2012 and 2011.

      For most of the 8 years prior to 2011, PA had an unemployment rate well below the national average unemployment rate. Not anymore. As the US average annual unemployment rate fell 0.8% in 2012 compared to 2011, PA did not fall at all and so now has a rate equal to or higher.

      Be my guest to excuse the abysmal PA economic performance in the last 2 years. But I am not buying such excuses and most Pennsylvanians rightly are not either.