Economy

OK, So It's Not the Swimsuit Issue...But Mark Price Made SI (Sports Illustrated)

This may be a first for an economist. A map based on a report by our very own Mark Price -- the Increasingly Unequal States of America -- made the Sports Illustrated blog at the end of last week. Fortunately, it was not accompanied by a picture of Mark on the beach during his recent work-related trips (yes, plural) to Miami.

Pennsylvania’s Economy Still Needs a Turnaround: Falling Unemployment Results from People Leaving the Job Market

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While a lower unemployment is sometimes good news, the decline in Pennsylvania’s unemployment rate over the last two years has been driven by the fact that fewer Pennsylvanians are looking for work. Between December 2012 and December 2014, more than 127,000 Pennsylvanians dropped out of the labor force. With fewer unemployed workers “counting” in the official statistics, the unemployment rate went down:

Reflections on the One-Day Work Week

At the Keystone Research Center, we closed the office last week except for Friday, Jan. 2, giving our team an extra three days of well-deserved vacation along with the New Year's Day holiday. So we had a one-day work week.

Truth be told, I still came to the office on Monday and then worked at home much of the rest of the week.

Still, the quality of life that resulted from only "having" to come to the office on Friday provided a nice hint of what a world of shorter work time might feel like.

A New Year's Resolution That Lawmakers Should Find Easy to Keep: Increase the PA Minimum Wage in 2015

As we close in on the end of 2014, here's our suggestion for a New Year's Resolution PA lawmakers should make along with losing weight and spending more time with the family: increasing the Pennsylvania minimum wage.

As detailed in our end-of year press release, 20 states and the District of Columbia will raise their minimum wages tomorrow but Pennsylvania will not.

Pa. 3rd Worst in Student Debt

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Yesterday, the Washington Post reported on the toll student debt is taking on students on a state-by-state level.  Not surprisingly, Pennsylvania is ranked as the 3rd worst in the country with an average student debt burden of $32,528 and an 11.6% student default rate.  To understand what Pennsylvania can do to reverse this trend and help power the economy, read the

New Study Suggests that Low Wages Imperil Future of U.S. Manufacturing and Innovation

Debates about manufacturing wages and jobs require the ability to walk and chew gum at the same time. Let's see if we can do that.

For a half century or more the mantra has been that manufacturing jobs pay better and support a family. But a new report by the National Employment Law Project (NELP), profiled in today's New York Times, shows that  manufacturing wages for production workers have dropped below wages for all private sector workers. NELP also finds that “more than 600,000 manufacturing workers make just $9.60 per hour or less. More than 1.5 million manufacturing workers – one out of every four – make $11.91 or less.”

Cutting taxes won't spur economic growth

Flying in the face of the often heard rhetoric that tax cuts are the cure for all ills, a new study finds that cuts to business taxes are at best ineffective, and at worst harmful to state economic growth and development. A better strategy for growth is to increase investment in education and infrastructure.

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