More Analysis of Pa.'s June Jobs Report

As I said last week, Pennsylvania's June jobs report raises several concerns about the fragile economic recovery. It was the second month in a row of job losses, with total nonfarm employment dropping by 2,600 jobs.

The Wall Street Journal Hacked Our Voicemail!

OK, I'm kidding! Well, as far as we know The Wall Street Journal didn't hack into our voicemail. 

What the Journal did do, however, was badly mangle job numbers in an editorial pitch aimed at convincing New Yorkers to support Marcellus Shale extraction in the Empire State.

The Middle Class ‘Under Attack’

At the Keystone Research Center, we have been chronicling for years the forces that are putting a tighter and tighter squeeze on middle-class Pennsylvanians.

Last week, we released a new report in partnership with the national policy center Demos that takes the temperature of the state's middle class in the wake of the Great Recession. I'm sorry to say, once again, the patient is not well.

The state's annual unemployment rate is the highest it has been in nearly three decades and the cost of going to college is on the rise.

According to the report, times are particularly tough for Pennsylvania's young people, with state budget cuts to 18% of public university funding and a 7.5% tuition hike in Pennsylvania's State System of Higher Education. Pennsylvania's young people already bear the seventh highest rate of student debt in the nation — at approximately $28,000 on average.

Third and State This Week: Marcellus Shale, Budget Cuts and the Economy, and a Pa. Jobs Update

This week, we blogged about new reports on the Marcellus Shale, the economic impact of state budget cuts, the latest Pennsylvania jobs report and a groundbreaking new study on the health and financial impacts of Medicaid.


  • On the Marcellus Shale, Sharon Ward shared her response to the final report and recommendations of the Governor's Marcellus Shale Advisory Commission, which reads like an industry wish list. Earlier in the week, Sharon shared her response to an industry-funded study that overstates the economic benefits and underestimates the costs of increased shale drilling. Chris Lilienthal, meanwhile, summed up the news coverage on the industry study.
  • On the state budget, Mark Price blogged about the impact of budget cuts on economic growth. Those states that made steep public spending cuts in the wake of the Great Recession have seen weaker economic growth in the years since, he wrote, citing research from the Center for American Progress.
  • On jobs and unemployment, Mark wrote that Pennsylvania's June jobs report provides cause for concern.
  • And, on health care, intern Emma Lowenberg highlighted a groundbreaking study out of Oregon showing that Medicaid has positive health and financial impacts.

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

Quick Take on Today's Marcellus Shale Advisory Commission Report

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The Governor's Marcellus Shale Advisory Commission issued its final report today, with recommendations that read like an industry wish list.

I put out the following statement in response.

"We are disappointed by today's report. The commission has missed a golden opportunity to look at the broad impacts of Marcellus Shale drilling — both positive and negative. Instead, it has made recommendations that read like an industry wish list.

Pennsylvania's June Jobs Report More Cause for Concern

Pennsylvania’s unemployment rate rose to 7.6% in June from 7.4% in May, according to a report Thursday from the state Department of Labor and Industry. Overall, the seasonally adjusted number of nonfarm jobs in Pennsylvania was down 2,600 in June to 5,676,900.

I issued the following statement on the new jobs report.

Summing Up the News Coverage on the Marcellus Shale Industry Study

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Several newspapers are reporting today on a new industry-financed study on the impact of Marcellus Shale drilling on Pennsylvania's economy. Analysts at the Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center weighed in on the issue with a number of reporters.

The Harrisburg Patriot-News summed up our concerns about the study best:

“You get what you’d expect from an industry report,” said Michael Wood, research director at the Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center. “The complications and costs to Pennsylvania are either minimized, understated or not even discussed.”

Response to Industry Study on Marcellus Impact

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The Marcellus Shale Coalition released a new study today assessing the impact of natural gas drilling in Pennsylvania.

Below is a statement I issued in response:

State Spending Cuts Kill Private Sector Jobs

Recent debates about the impact of state taxes and spending have taken place in a “fact-free” zone, where anti-tax advocates urgently warn that “taxes kill jobs” without offering any evidence that this is true.

Thanks to recent analysis by economist Adam Hersh at the Center for American Progress, we now have some fresh data on the health of the economy in states that cut their budgets in recent years compared to those that increased spending. 

The verdict: Those states that made steep public spending cuts in the wake of the Great Recession have seen weaker economic growth in the years since. Budget-cutting states have experienced rising unemployment, fewer new private sector jobs and weaker economic growth than the states that increased spending.

Study Shows Medicaid Has Positive Health, Financial Impacts

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Emma Lowenberg, InternBy Emma Lowenberg, Intern

This just in: providing the poor with medical insurance has a positive impact!

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