Morning Must Reads: We Are The Chamber!

In case you missed it, Patriot-News columnist Donald Gilliland eviscerates the U.S. Chamber of Commerce for using suspect job numbers in a Marcellus gas public relations campaign. To loyal readers, this is old hat, but for our new regular readers, let me take a moment to explain the two kinds of job numbers available on Marcellus gas extraction.

First there are counts of actual jobs based on government data sets — see page 3 (pdf). These counts capture pretty well (still with some overstatement) the direct jobs created by gas wells, but they miss some of the indirect jobs — new staff at the local hotel or fast food restaurant, for example.

To get at indirect jobs, you have to make an educated guess about how much economic activity Marcellus gas extraction might be generating using models of the economy. The more generous your guesses, the greater the job creation your model attributes to Marcellus gas extraction. No surprise, the Chamber's scrumtrilescent public relations campaign relied on one of the most generous estimates available.

Meanwhile, a campaign is slowly building to raise the minimum wage both here in Pennsylvania and nationally. Doug Hall of the Economic Policy Institute gives us a preview of who nationally might be affected by a minimum wage increase to $9.80 by July 2014.

Update: A previous version of this blog post misidentified the U.S. Chamber of Commerce as the Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry.



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