Posts by mark price

Connecting the Dots Between Unemployment and Wage Growth

Colin Gordon of the Iowa Policy Project (and the Tell Tale Chart) has a new graphic illustrating the connection between unemployment and wage growth across the states (see Colin's summary of the data here).

New Data: Job Growth In Marcellus Shale Slows Again In Last Quarter of 2012

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The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics released new data Thursday from the Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages for the fourth quarter of 2012 -- which means we can expect shortly a new version of Marcellus Fast Facts from the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry. While we wait for that new release, here is a quick preview of what the new data say.

May's Job Picture Is Mixed In Pennsylvania

Unemployment in Pennsylvania fell by one-tenth of a percentage point to 7.5% in May, while non-farm payrolls fell by 9,200, according to a Friday report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Data from the household survey painted an unambiguously positive picture for May: the labor force increased by 16,000, employment grew by just over 24,000, and the number of unemployed declined by 9,000.

Housing Issues Discussed On Radio Smart Talk

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This morning you can hear Liz Hersh of the Housing Alliance of Pennsylvania discuss housing issues in Pennsylvania on Radio Smart Talk. If you can't listen now, you can download the podcast later. Below are a few graphs that display trends in housing prices in Pennsylvania over the last few years.

Another Day Older and Deeper in Debt

Last week, the Senate Banking and Insurance Committee in a narrow vote approved Senate Bill 975, opening the door to thousands of predatory payday lenders to come to Pennsylvania and charge fees on short-term loans that equal an annual interest rate of over 300% on a typical two-week payday loan.

By Any Name, Predatory Payday Lending Is Still a Debt Trap

Stop Payday Loans in Pa.It’s been awhile since I blogged about payday lending, so let’s recap a little bit. 

Payday loans are made in small amounts but come at an extremely high cost, typically carrying annual interest rates of 300% or higher. They are called payday loans because they generally must be paid back in full, with all interest and fees, on the borrower’s next payday. Believe it or not, payday borrowers are twice as likely to file for bankruptcy as applicants whose request for a payday loan was denied by the lender.  

Pennsylvania does not currently have thousands of payday loan storefronts as you will find in states like Florida and Utah because our state law puts a low cap on the interest and fees that payday lenders can charge. Loyal readers will remember that in the last legislative session Rep. Chris Ross of Chester County introduced — and the House passed — legislation to open the door to payday lending in Pennsylvania.  The bill died in the Senate.

Ever since, payday lenders have been lobbying state Senators to reintroduce the bill. Their efforts paid off late Friday afternoon when Senator Pat Browne introduced Senate Bill 975 and hastily scheduled a vote on the bill in the Banking and Insurance Committee today. 

Good News on PA Jobs But Challenges Remain

Pennsylvania got some good news Friday from the Bureau of Labor Statistics as the state’s unemployment rate fell three-tenths of one percentage point to 7.6% in April. It is the lowest unemployment rate in Pennsylvania since March of last year — although it is still slightly higher than the U.S. unemployment rate.

Unemployment in PA and US

Pennsylvania Job Growth Continues to Slide

Acknowledging complexity in economic and jobs data always runs a certain risk. I was reminded of that this week when I spoke with a reporter at PoliticsPA about Pennsylvania’s job growth during Governor Corbett’s administration. After spending an hour on the phone with the reporter laying out the data, the resulting story largely missed the forest for the trees.

Radio Podcast: Workers Drop Out of the Labor Market

I was on Minnesota Public Radio this week with journalist Heidi Moore to provide some context on jobs and the state of the American economy. Listen to the full show at the player below.

U.S. Job Growth Continues to Disappoint in March

Nonfarm payrolls grew by 88,000 in March while the unemployment rate stood at 7.6%, little changed from the month before, according to a report this morning from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Bill McBride at Calculated Risk wrote Thursday that the consensus forecast was for an increase in nonfarm payrolls of 193,000 and for the unemployment rate to hold steady at 7.7%.