Posts by mark price

Resolution of State Budget Must Include Minimum Wage Increase and Greater Investments in Higher Education

The director of Pennsylvania Working Families wrote an excellent op-ed calling for the General Assembly to raise the minimum wage as it resolves the state budget. You will remember Gov. Wolf made raising the state’s minimum wage a key priority in his initial budget address in March.

The Fight for $15 Is Already Lifting Wages

Today in 200 U.S. cities workers will rally for higher pay and a union.  These actions, which started in November of 2012, have been instrumental in building momentum for state and local minimum wage increases. 

Crush Unions and You Crush the Growth in Earnings for Workers

Posted in:

New analysis by David Cooper and Lawrence Mishel explores differences by state in wage trends and changes in union membership since 1979.

In that time the percentage of workers covered by a union contract fell 21 percentage points (from 35.6% in 1979 to 14.6% in 2012) in Pennsylvania.

President’s Actions on Immigration Will Benefit the Pennsylvania Economy

Posted in:

Last week President Obama announced that he will use the power of the executive office to shield millions of people from deportation and give them authorization to work.

The President's action is a positive step forward.

Bringing undocumented workers out of the shadows and into the above-ground labor market is good for them, good for the economy and good for us all. Specifically, the president’s actions will bring the following important benefits to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania:

September job losses mark three consecutive months of job loss in Pennsylvania

On Friday the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry reported that the unemployment rate fell from 5.6% to 5.7% while nonfarm payrolls fell by 9,600 jobs in September.  

Another victory in the fight to keep predatory payday lending out of Pennsylvania!

Posted in:

As many of you are aware Pennsylvania law prohibits lenders from charging exorbitantly high interest and fees on small loans in Pennsylvania.  In the last several years the Payday lending industry which in other states regularly charges fees and interest of 300% or more has been lobbying the state legislature to offer similarly destructive financial products to Pennsylvania consumers.  In our briefing paper Bankrupt by Design: Payday Lenders Target PA Working Families we found that expanding this form of lending in Pennsylvania would cost consumers hundreds of millions of dollars and result in the loss of good jobs from the state’s economy.

Earlier this week Pennsylvania State Senator Jake Corman from Centre County attempted to get the Senate Banking and Insurance Committee to adopt a resolution that would authorize a study of payday lending in Pennsylvania.

A funny thing happened to our data on the way to Philadelphia

If you have been following this gubernatorial election, or just watching television, you might have noticed that the Wolf campaign has been arguing that 27,000 jobs were lost in education in Pennsylvania.  That’s a figure my colleagues and I released in late August in our annual State of Working Pennsylvania.  To generate that number we used data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics to calculate education employment in local governments in the 2010-11 school year, which ran from July 2010 to June 2011.

August job growth disappoints in Pennsylvania

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported this morning that nonfarm payrolls in Pennsylvania grew by 100 jobs in August and the unemployment rate edged up slightly to 5.8%.

To be clear that 100 is not missing a zero.

The jobs picture with respect to resident employment was actually substantially worse as 35,000 fewer residents reported having a job in August.