Jobs and Unemployment

Video: Economy Boosting Jobs

This video from our friends at Topos Partnerships explains the economy in terms everyone can understand. Economy-boosting jobs pay people enough to maintain the basic spending levels that keep the economy and our communities going. If people do not earn enough to afford the basics, like food and car repairs, the economy stalls. This video makes a compelling case that lifting low-wage workers helps everyone.

A Prolonged Shutdown Will Damage PA Economy

The Pennsylvania economy remains very weak with high unemployment and sluggish job growth so far this year. Federal policymakers are partly to blame for cutting funding to schools and other services and not doing enough to support investments that build a stronger economy.

Employment in Shale-related Industries Fell in Most Recent Year

I will be on the Pennsylvania Cable Network Call-In Program Tuesday discussing the latest on the impact of Marcellus Shale drilling on Pennsylvania's economy. So you can bet that I will be talking about new data giving us our first detailed glimpse of Marcellus Shale-related employment trends in Pennsylvania.

Secretary for the Selective Use of Statistics

On September 6, Pennsylvania Labor & Industry Secretary Julia K. Hearthway chided the Patriot-News — and, indirectly, the Keystone Research Center — for “selective use of statistics” when the paper (relying on The State of Working Pennsylvania 2013) accurately summarized the poor performance of the Pennsylvania economy from the perspective of most workers.

Just How Much Will a Fast Food Wage Increase Cost?

Big MacIn The State of Working Pennsylvania 2013, we said that substantially raising the wages of fast food workers — to roughly $15 per hour — could put Pennsylvania and the nation back on the path to shared prosperity. Capitolwire suggested in an August 29 Under the Dome brief (subscription required) that people would end up paying “a lot more” for their Big Macs and eating out at other restaurants. Yes, it would cost a bit more initially but not nearly as much as Capitolwire suggested. And it could lower costs in the long run. Let me explain.

How Does Job Growth in Pennsylvania Measure Up?

In this year's State of Working Pennsylvania, we decided to look once again at the pace of job growth in Pennsylvania relative to the other 49 states. What's different about our analysis this time is that we compare Pennsylvania's job performance at comparable points in the economic recovery that followed each of the last three recessions.

Public Benefit Programs Encourage Work

A few weeks ago, Sharon Ward explained the many problems with a report from the Cato Institute suggesting it's great to be poor in the United States. Today, Sandy Strauss and Peter Zurflieh, the co-chairs of a coalition working to improve the lives of Pennsylvania's low-income families, have a letter to the editor in the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review setting the record straight about the Cato study. They do a nice job of explaining how public benefits encourage low-income people to go to work and keep at it:

Public benefit programs don't discourage work. Both SNAP (food stamps) and Medicaid, for example, offer work incentive deductions from earned income to encourage work. In 2011, 86 percent of low-income children receiving Medicaid or CHIP were in working families. More than half of able-bodied adults in households with children receiving SNAP work.

Reports like Cato's unfairly portray low-wage earners and persons living in poverty as lazy and waiting for the next government handout. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Another Ho Hum Jobs Report in August

The nation's unemployment rate dropped by one-tenth of a percentage point to 7.3% in August and non-farm payrolls expanded by 169,000 jobs over the month, according to a report today from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

Here is a rundown of reactions from DC’s top labor economists to today’s jobs report:

With Unemployment High, Pennsylvania's Economy Has Been Creating Lots of Bad Jobs

In this year’s State of Working Pennsylvania, our annual evaluation of the health of the economy from the perspective of the middle class, three findings stand out:

  • A definite weakening in the overall pace of job growth in Pennsylvania since January 2010 largely driven by the loss of 45,000 jobs in the public sector

The State of Working PA This Labor Day

Coming on the heels of a day when thousands of fast food workers in 50 U.S. cities walked off the job to protest low wages, the Keystone Research Center is out with a report showing there is ample reason for discontent among Pennsylvania workers.

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