Jobs and Unemployment

New Data on Natural Gas-related Employment in PA

This morning the Bureau of Labor Statistics released new data from the Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages for the third quarter of 2012. This means we can expect shortly a new version of Marcellus Fast Facts for Pennsylvania 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.

Third and State This Week: PA Jobs Update, Special Tax Break Bills, and How Sequestration Got Its Name

This week at Third and State, we blogged about the latest on Pennsylvania jobs, how special tax breaks are coming at the expense of classrooms and communities, and how those across-the-board federal spending cuts became known as "sequestration."

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT:

  • On jobs and the economy, Mark Price blogged about the Pennsylvania jobs report for February. The state's unemployment rate declined slightly, driven by a decline in the state's labor force. Mark also shared an earlier podcast where he explained that weak employment growth and strong labor force growth over the past several months in Pennsylvania meant there have been fewer new job openings available for a growing number of new job seekers.
  • On state budget and taxes, Chris Lilienthal wrote that after making deep cuts to schools, early childhood education, and health services, Pennsylvania lawmakers are now considering new tax breaks that will largely benefit a small number of higher-income earners. Sharon Ward shared another segment of her recent interview with Triad Strategies where she explained that the state cost of corporate tax cuts has more than tripled since 2002, with little to show for it.
  • On federal budget and taxes, Jamar Thrasher blogged about a primer on federal sequestration from Mother Jones magazine that includes how it got that name.

IN OTHER NEWS:

  • The Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center (PBPC) has more on three special tax break bills moving in the state Legislature that will come at the expense of Pennsylvania schools and communities.
  • Learn more about public pension reform in Pennsylvania at the Keystone Research Center's Pensions Issue Page.
  • Learn more about the federal opportunity to expand health coverage in Pennsylvania at PBPC's Medicaid Expansion Resource Page.
  • Learn more about education in Pennsylvania at PBPC's Education Facts Page with data on student enrollment, education funding, and school poverty.

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

PA's Unemployment Rate Drops as More Job Seekers Drop Out

Today, the Corbett administration released jobs data for February, and to answer your next question, yes, they did just release January jobs data on March 8. The release schedule gets a little delayed and then compressed at the beginning of each New Year as the Bureau of Labor Statistics revises data through a process called benchmarking.

So on to the numbers: Pennsylvania unemployment fell one-tenth of one percentage point to 8.1% in February. As I explained this morning, with employment growth weak and labor force growth strong, the state's unemployment rate has been rising since last March. Well half of that equation changed this month as employment as measured in the household survey fell by 6,000, and the labor force also fell by 13,000. As a result, the number of unemployed fell, and the unemployment rate fell very slightly. 

Podcast: As More People Look for Work in PA, There Are Not Enough Jobs to Be Had

I was recently asked whether growth in the Pennsylvania labor market in recent months was a positive sign for the state's economy. It is a welcome sign, but as I explain in this two-minute podcast, there are fewer and fewer new job openings available for these new job seekers. And that has driven up the state's unemployment rate.

Third and State This Week: Budget Pie Day, Cost of Tax Cuts and an Update on State Jobs

This week at Third and State, we blogged about the impact of corporate tax cuts on state investments in education and health care, why state lawmakers got half a pie from advocates this week, and the takeaway from Pennsylvania's latest jobs report. Plus we shared a podcast with Sharon Ward on education policy in Pennsylvania.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT:

  • On state taxes and the budget, Michael Wood blogged about a new Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center (PBPC) policy brief showing that the skyrocketing cost of corporate tax cuts are competing with state funding for schools, the state’s colleges and universities, early childhood education, and human services. 
  • With business tax cuts taking a larger share of the budget pie these days, Chris Lilienthal wrote about how advocates with the Better Choices for Pennsylvania Coalition delivered half a pie to every state legislator this week to send a message that Pennsylvania needs real tax reform. We also shared a 3-minute video with highlights from the Pie Day press conference.
  • On jobs and the economy, Mark Price analyzed the January jobs report for Pennsylvania.
  • And on education, Sharon Ward talked with Triad Strategies about PBPC's new Education Facts Page, which presents data and analysis on public, charter and private education in the commonwealth.

IN OTHER NEWS:

  • Read PBPC's latest policy brief titled $3 Billion Bill for Corporate Tax Cuts in 2012-13: Reduced Revenue Does Little for Jobs, Undermines Schools and Human Services.
  • Learn more about public pension reform in Pennsylvania at the Keystone Research Center's Pensions Issue Page.
  • Check out PBPC's Medicaid Expansion Resource Page, with more information on the federal opportunity to expand state coverage and how you can take action.
  • And view PBPC's Education Facts Page with data on student enrollment, education funding, and school poverty.

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

A Mixed Bag for Pennsylvania's January Jobs Report

A few minutes before 5 p.m. on Friday, the Corbett administration released new data on the state's employment situation in January. The picture that emerged from the data was mixed.

On the one hand, the unemployment rate climbed by three-tenths of a percentage point to 8.2%, while the number of unemployed climbed by 18,000. On the other hand, nonfarm payrolls had a better month than typical with payrolls over the month climbing by 5,200 jobs. 

Third and State This Week: Talking State Budget, February Jobs, Pension Primers, and Income Inequality

This week at Third and State, we shared a podcast on the Governor's state budget proposal and the latest "pension primer" from the Keystone Research Center. We also blogged about the February jobs report, income inequality, a court ruling with implications for state health care funding, and more.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT:

  • On state budget and taxes, Michael Wood wrote about General Fund revenue collections missing estimate in February. Sharon Ward shared a podcast from her sit down with Triad Strategies where she discussed the governor's state budget proposal and the opportunity to expand Medicaid in Pennsylvania.
  • On jobs and the economy, Chris Lilienthal rounded up the insights of leading national economists on the U.S. jobs report for February. Nonfarm payrolls in February increased by 236,000 jobs, and the unemployment rate fell to 7.7%.
  • On pensions, Stephen Herzenberg shared the Keystone Research Center's latest "pension primer," which focused on how a 2010 law significantly reduced state pension costs going forward.
  • Mark Price shared his op-ed on how we can break the back of rising income inequality in the U.S., published this week in The Guardian.
  • On health care, Chris Lilienthal blogged about a court ruling finding that the diversion of tobacco settlement funds away from health care violated the state constitution.

IN OTHER NEWS:

  • Check out the first three installments in the Keystone Research Center's new series of state pension primers intended to help demystify the often complex details at the heart of the pension debate.
  • Read the Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center's latest State Revenue Tracker.
  • Check out PBPC's Medicaid Expansion Resource Page, with more information on the federal opportunity to expand state coverage and how you can take action.
  • And view PBPC's Education Facts Page with data on student enrollment, education funding, and school poverty.

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

Some Welcome Job News in February — in Perspective

This morning the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that nonfarm payrolls increased by 236,000 jobs. Over the past quarter, the nation has seen average monthly job growth of 191,000. The unemployment rate, meanwhile, fell to 7.7% in February, largely tranks to a drop in labor force participation.

Below are some key observations from D.C.'s leading labor economists on today's jobs report:

Wealth Inequality Will Keep Growing Unless Workers Demand Better

I have an op-ed on The Guardian's web site today examining the problem that we all face in today's economy: income inequality. Give it a read.

Third and State This Week: Sequestration's Impact on PA, State Pension Primers and Medicaid Expansion

This week at Third and State, we blogged about the impact of federal sequestration cuts on Pennsylvania, how the Governor's pension plan is digging a deeper hole for taxpayers, and New Jersey joining a growing list of states to embrace the expansion of Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT:

  • On federal budget and taxes, Chris Lilienthal wrote about the direct, disastrous impact federal sequestration cuts will have on Pennsylvania families, children and the economy.
  • On state pensions, Stephen Herzenberg blogged about a new series of "pension primers" from the Keystone Research Center, including the first two installments in that series detailing how the Governor's pension proposal is digging a deeper hole for taxpayers.
  • On health care, Chris Lilienthal blogged about New Jersey Governor Chris Christie's decision to join a growing bipartisan group of governors embracing the opportunity to expand Medicaid health coverage under the Affordable Care Act.

IN OTHER NEWS: 

  • Check out the first two installments in the Keystone Research Center's new series of state pension primers intended to help demystify the often complex details at the heart of the pension debate.
  • The Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center has more on the impact of sequestration cuts on the commonwealth.
  • And check out PBPC's Medicaid Expansion Resource Page, with more information on the federal opportunity to expand state coverage and how you can take action.

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

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