Recession and Recovery

Morning Must Reads: October's Job Numbers and Now Is The Time To Fix Stuff!

Late in the day Friday, the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry reported that the state's unemployment rate ticked down slightly to 8.1% (the U.S. rate is 7.9%) and nonfarm payrolls grew by 7,500 jobs.

Third and State This Week: Paying the Boss to Work, a Payday Lending Poll, and Austin Powers on Tax Incentives

This week at Third and State, we blogged about the problems with a "pay your boss to work" tax credit plan, what the Austin Powers movies can teach us about economic development, the gas industry taking on Pennsylvania charities, an online payday lending poll, and more!

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT:

  • On state tax policy, Michael Wood noted the top 10 reasons to vote no on a bill that would allow many Pennsylvania employers to pocket the state income taxes paid by new employees.
  • On taxes and economic development, Mark Price channeled his vast knowledge of Austin Powers' quotes to comment on an effort by a food corporation to secure a property tax abatement for a meat repackaging plant in Lower Allen Township.
  • On Marcellus Shale, Stephen Herzenberg wrote about the need for reliable data on natural gas drilling after the Marcellus Shale Coalition criticized the funding priorities of certain Pennsylvania foundations.
  • On payday lending, Chris Lilienthal urged readers to vote in an online poll asking Pennsylvanians if payday lenders should be able to open storefronts in the state.
  • And on jobs and the economy, Mark Price chronicled the many informative responses debunking former GE CEO Jack Welch's suggestion on Twitter that the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics altered September's jobs report.

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

Morning Must Reads: Never Before Has So Much Stupid Led to So Much Learning!

At 7.8% in September, the U.S. unemployment rate was below 8% for the first time since January 2009. Five minutes after the new numbers were released, former General Electric CEO Jack Welch suggested the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) had juked the stats.

Third and State This Week: Court Halts Voter ID Law, Changing the Subject on Payday Lending and Paying the Boss to Work

This week at Third and State, we blogged about a court decision halting enforcement of the Voter ID Law in the November election, an effort to change the subject on payday lending, a report on rising student debt, a lawsuit against the state to restore General Assistance and much more!

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT:

  • On voter ID, we highlighted a statement from the Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center (PBPC) on a Commonwealth Court decision halting enforcement of the Voter ID Law in the November election. Chris Lilienthal also highlighted MSNBC's coverage of PBPC's recent report on the state's flawed implementation of the Voter ID Law.
  • On payday lending, Mark Price wrote about a recent state Senate hearing on the subject and why changing the subject doesn't make high-interest payday lending any better an idea in Pennsylvania.
  • On education, Jamar Thrasher blogged about a Pew Research Center report on the growing burden of student debt especially among the lowest-income students.
  • On jobs, Mark Price explained how the story of a Bucks County manufacturer who is finding it difficult to recruit workers made him think of a joke about parrots and economists. He also broke down the employment picture in Allentown.
  • On state tax policy, we shared a video from Reuters exploring the problems with programs that allow certain businesses to keep the income taxes paid by employees. The Pennsylvania House is considering a similar program.
  • On public welfare, Mark Price blogged about a lawsuit aimed at restoring Pennsylvania's General Assistance program.

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

Pennsylvania Faces a Shortage of Skilled Parrots

The economist J.R. McCulloch once quipped that to pass for an economist, a parrot need only learn the phrase: “supply and demand, supply and demand.” In many cases, explaining trends in the economy often comes down to understanding supply and demand. 

Third and State This Week: PA Jobs Advantage Recedes, Supreme Court Has Voter ID Concerns, Poverty Remains High and the Manufacturing Jobs Score

This week at Third and State, we blogged about the shrinking (and now disappeared) advantage Pennsylvania had over the national unemployment rate, concerns voiced by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court over the Voter ID Law, the "manufacturing jobs score" by presidential administration, new data on poverty in Pennsylvania and much more. 

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

  • On jobs and the economy, Stephen Herzenberg fact checked a recent assessment of the Corbett administration's jobs record, and Mark Price blogged about the August jobs report showing that the advantage Pennsylvania had over the national unemployment rate has disappeared.
  • On jobs and manufacturing, Stephen Herzenberg shared a commentary he co-authored with Colin Gordon of the University of Iowa on the "manufacturing jobs score" by presidential administration since 1948. 
  • On voter ID, Chris Lilienthal wrote about the Pennsylvania Supreme Court's decision to send the legal challenge to the law back to the Commonwealth Court — and the concerns voiced by the court about the law's implementation.
  • On poverty, Chris Lilienthal highlighted media reports on new Census data on poverty in Pennsylvania and in major metro regions of the state. The Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center also put out an overview of the new Census data on poverty, income and health insurance.
  • On hunger, Jamar Thrasher blogged about how more colleges and universities are opening food banks for students who can't afford their next meal.
  • And in Morning Must Reads this week, Mark Price highlighted news reports on Hershey's plan for a $300 million manufacturing plant and on Occupy Wall Street one year later.

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

Morning Must Reads: A Bittersweet Investment By Hershey

The Hershey Company today unveils plans for a new $300 million investment in a state of the art manufacturing facility here in the midstate. This is sweet news or, as David Wenner explains, bittersweet news.

Morning Must Reads: Occupy Wall Street A Year Later

While media attention may have been slow at the start of the Occupy Wall Street Movement a year ago, coverage of the first anniversary of the movement has not been.

As someone who has spent much of his very short career (9 years) writing about the alarming growth of inequality in this country, I view the greatest achievement of the Occupy Movement as focusing the country's attention on income inequality in a way that no individual writer or economist was ever able to do. As a result, the movement has shaped public debate and policy in a way that is incalculable but deeply valuable.

Morning Must Reads: Honoring Work and Calling for a New Middle-Class Friendly Economic Policy

It is almost here, Labor Day weekend. That means family parties, celebrations and, of course, reverence for the holiness of work that ALSO affords us what workers in the last century called bread and roses. In that spirit, Rick Bloomingdale has an excellent op-ed this morning celebrating the creation of the middle class in this country and calling for a new direction in economic policy.

Morning Must Reads: More On Layoffs in the Pittsburgh School District and State of Working PA

State of Working PA 2012I'm back! Unfortunately, I will not be appearing in a film with 80s action stars, but I will once again be dishing out news and policy analysis each morning. I want to thank all my regular readers who organized that petition to get me back blogging (yeah, I didn't see it either; I'm sure people were just busy).

I took a break to finish up the State of Working Pennsylvania, which by the way came out Wednesday morning. Here is the coverage so far.

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