Economy

Small Revenue Shortfall Predicted for 2013-14 But No Need to Panic — Yet

Pennsylvania is staring at a likely revenue shortfall of more than $100 million come June when the current fiscal year draws to a close, according to the latest revenue estimates from the Pennsylvania Independent Fiscal Office (IFO). A slow-growing economy has dampened tax and other collections during the first half of the 2013-14 fiscal year, and IFO analysts think the trend will continue in the months ahead.

PA Saw Less Job Growth, Shrinking Labor Force in 2013

With Pennsylvania's December jobs report out today, we are able to draw a few conclusions about job growth in 2013 — and the news is mostly not good. Monthly job growth continued to decelerate across the commonwealth last year, and while the unemployment rate dropped by more than a percentage point from January to December, much of that is linked to a shrinking labor force rather than booming job growth.

More Economy Boosting Jobs, Less Austerity

How do we get our economy growing more robustly again? It's not through austerity — cutting government spending and investment when private consumption and investment are already lagging — as Paul Krugman reminds us again today.

It is through "economy boosting jobs" — raising wages so that working families can buy what they need and help their communities thrive. Here's a simple video (also below) explaining this point, circulated to us from the good folks at Topos.

A $15-Per-Hour Fast-Food Wage Gets the Time of Day

The second in an occasional series on reducing inequality

In the first post in this series, I suggested that American elite opinion might actually be swinging towards the need to take some long-overdue — and obvious — steps to reduce inequality, including raising area-wide wages in low-paid service industries through policy or by allowing workers to form area-wide labor unions.

Are Economic Elites Awaking to the Need to Do Something About Inequality?

The first in an occasional series on reducing inequality

Are American opinion leaders and policymakers finally ready for a serious effort to reduce economic inequality and rebuild opportunity in America?

In a series of blog posts, we will point to growing evidence that they might be, thanks to a powerful mix of unrelenting data on economic polarizations and worker campaigns demanding a change. Better late than never.

In this first entry, I want to set up the series with some context.

Many Core Drilling Jobs Existed Before Emergence of Hydrofracking

It’s been nearly two weeks since we released a report with the Multi-State Shale Research Collaborative finding that drilling in the six states that span the Marcellus and Utica Shale formations has produced far fewer new jobs than the industry and its supporters claim.

California Conservative Proposes $12 Per Hour Minimum Wage

Last week, The New York Times reported that Ron Unz, a conservative Silicon Valley millionaire and past Editor of The American Conservative, favors increasing California's minimum wage to $12 per hour.

The arguments he is making explain why a much higher minimum wage strengthens the economy and benefits taxpayers, and progressives should capitalize on his support to amplify these arguments in their own advocacy.

A Shift in Drilling from Pennsylvania to Ohio

To follow up on my blog post Monday, here is a look at how shale drilling has shifted from Pennsylvania to Ohio and other areas with growth in shale oil production beginning in 2012.
A Shift in Drilling from PA to OH

Shale Drilling Highly Sensitive to Price, Meaning Job Gains May Not Be Lasting

Natural gas drilling in the six states spanning the Marcellus Shale is highly sensitive to price fluctuations. High prices fueled shale development from 2000 to 2008. As prices have declined, gas drilling activity has slowed while development of higher-priced oil has accelerated.
Drilling for Natural Gas Fluctuates with Natural Gas Price

Little Good News for PA Jobs in September and October

One of the many lingering side effects of the shutdown of the federal government in October was a delay in the release of Pennsylvania jobs data for September. Today the Bureau of Labor Statistics gives us our first look at the September jobs numbers along with preliminary numbers for October. (The Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry has yet to release its own summary.)

The job numbers were all around disappointing.

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