Economy

Morning Must Reads: New Year, Same Old Economic Austerity

From November 2009 to November 2010, Pennsylvania added 63,300 jobs. From November 2010 to November 2011, the state added just 51,000.

Wait, isn't that backwards? Nope. A weak economy, the end of federal Recovery Act funds and state budget cuts slowed the pace of Pennsylvania job growth in the most recent year.

Morning Must Reads: Inequality of Opportunity in Politics and in Erie County

Thanks to the Occupy Movement, inequality has become a major issue in the Presidential campaign. While taking on the recent campaign developments, Paul Krugman does a nice job summing up what is wrong in America today.

Third and State This Week: Economic Mobility, Budgetary Freeze and Regulations

This week, we blogged about a $157 million midyear budgetary freeze, intergenerational mobility in the U.S. and false claims about the impact of regulations on jobs and the economy.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

  • On income inequality, Mark Price blogged about a New York Times story this week providing fresh evidence that there is less intergenerational economic mobility in the U.S. than in Europe.
  • On the state budget, Sharon Ward wrote about a $157 million state spending freeze announced by the Corbett administration this week, marking the fifth straight year of cuts to health care, education and human services in Pennsylvania.
  • Responding to false claims about jobs and regulations, Stephen Herzenberg cited a former Reagan/Bush official who has written that “no hard evidence is offered” for the claim that new regulations are holding back investment and job creation:
  • In the Morning Must Reads, Mark Price highlighted news stories discussing the gender pay gap and a report linking Chesapeake Bay cleanup to job creation.
  • And finally, congratulation to Mark Price, named one of 2011's most influential voices in business by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

More blog posts next week. Keep us bookmarked and join the conversation!

More on Regulations and Jobs

On Wednesday, WITF’s Radio Smart Talk hosted two anti-regulation advocates to explain why regulations are, well, bad. The listeners of the show who called in did a good job underscoring the critical importance of effective regulation and exposing the lack of evidence for the views of the show’s guests.

I tried to call in myself, but time ran out before I could join the discussion. Had my call been taken, I would have pointed listeners to the writing of Bruce Bartlett, a former high-level policy person in the Reagan and Bush administrations. In a column tellingly entitled “Misrepresentations, Regulations, and Jobs,” Bartlett points out that “no hard evidence is offered” for the claim that new regulations are holding back investment and job creation: “it is simply asserted as self-evident and repeated endlessly throughout the conservative echo chamber.”

Most Influential

Mark Price forgot one in the Morning Must Reads today.

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on Sunday included Mark in a year-end list of the most influential voices in the world of business, shining a well-deserved spotlight on his work putting the economy in context for Pennsylvanians.

Morning Must Reads: Hard Bargaining in Philadelphia and Regulation

Talk about hard bargaining. The Philadelphia School District's New Year offer in negotiations over a new contract for support staff includes layoff notices to all of the bus drivers and janitors the school district now employs unless the union agrees to $16 million in wage concessions. You, the bus drivers and janitors all remember this is the same district that offered up a CEO style golden parachute of nearly $1 million to former Superintendent Arlene Ackerman.

Third and State This Week: Mid-year Budget Update, a Tax Break for Jet Sales & Latest Economic News

Programming Note: Third and State will be taking some time off for the holidays. We'll be back on January 3, 2012. Have a wonderful holiday and a happy new year.

This week, we blogged about a special tax break being proposed for jet sales, the mid-year state budget update and the latest economic news.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

  • On the state budget, Sharon Ward got déjà vu when she heard Budget Secretary Charles Zogby warn in the mid-year budget briefing that more state service cuts are on the way in 2012.
  • On state taxes, Chris Lilienthal highlighted a Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center analysis of a new special tax break for private jet sales that some lawmakers are advocating. He also shared a recent ABC 27 news report on a tongue-in-cheek "billionaire's press conference" in support of this new tax giveaway.
  • In the Morning Must Reads, Mark Price blogged about news stories on perfectly legal forms of wage theft, job layoffs and property tax hikes, new home sales data, and a planned increase in the Ohio minimum wage.

We will return on January 3, 2012. Have a wonderful holiday and a happy new year.

Morning Must Reads: Perfectly Legal Forms of Wage Theft and Build Baby Build!

When you tip your server at a restaurant, you probably assume that all of that money goes to the server. If you use a credit card to pay, you would be wrong. 

It is very common for restaurant owners to use a portion of those tips to pay credit card processing fees.

The Philadelphia Daily News reports this morning that Philadelphia City Council has passed a law that stops restaurant owners from stealing from servers in this way. 

Third and State This Week: No Marcellus Shale Fee in 2011, Extended Unemployment at Risk and PA gets a D

This week, we blogged about a new report on economic development subsidies in Pennsylvania, the economic harm that ending extended unemployment insurance for 281,000 jobless Pennsylvanians will have, and the latest on the debate over enacting a Marcellus Shale drilling fee.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

  • On economic development, Chris Lilienthal shared the results of a national study by Good Jobs First that ranked the 50 states' economic development subsidy programs based on job creation requirements and wage standards for workers at subsidized companies. Pennsylvania came in 40th.  
  • On the Marcellus Shale, Michael Wood blogged about 2011 ending as the last two years have — without a Marcellus Shale drilling tax or fee for Pennsylvania.
  • On unemployment, Sean Brandon laid out the facts supporting the extension of emergency federal unemployment insurance. With the average duration of joblessness among Americans at an all-time high, now is not the time for Congress to turn its backs on the unemployed. 
  • In the Morning Must Reads, Mark Price highlighted news stories discussing the safety issues of Marcellus drilling and the foreclosure crisis in the midstate

More blog posts next week. Keep us bookmarked and join the conversation!

Length of Unemployment at All Time High

Sean Brandon, InternBy Sean Brandon, Intern

While the U.S. unemployment rate fell to a 32-month low of 8.6% in November, the average duration of joblessness hit an all-time high — 40.9 weeks. This number has more than doubled since the start of the Great Recession in December 2007. Nevertheless, it should come as no surprise amid lingering unemployment. There are four job seekers for every job opening these days.

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