Economy

Makers of the U.S. Unite: The UAW Vote at VW One More Time

There are three central challenges facing U.S. manufacturing today: wages are too low, employers invest too little in their workers, and the sector lacks meaningful credentials or job-matching institutions allowing dislocated workers to find new manufacturing jobs that capitalize on their skills.

Understanding the Union Vote at VW in Tennessee

As you probably know, the United Auto Workers (UAW) lost a union election at a Chattanooga Volkswagen plant last month by a vote of 712 to 646 (53% to 47%). My heart goes out to the workers and UAW leaders who put heart and soul into achieving a different result.

I was taken aback by the vote, I have to admit. So it has taken me a couple of weeks to process it.

PA Payrolls Essentially Unchanged in January But Jobless Rate Falls to 6.4%

Today was an unusual first Friday of the month as we got both a national release of job numbers for February and a Pennsylvania jobs release for January.

Both reports were a mixed bag:

  • National payrolls grew a bit faster than expectations, but the unemployment rate climbed to 6.7% in February.
  • Pennsylvania payrolls grew by a disappointing 500 jobs in January, but the unemployment rate declined four-tenths of one percentage point to 6.4%.

PA Job Growth Slows Once Again in 2013

By several measures, Pennsylvania’s economic recovery is still limping along. That is the essential finding of a new policy brief from the Keystone Research Center examining Pennsylvania job growth since the recession ended.

Job growth in the state has slowed steadily over each of the past three years with only about a quarter of the number of jobs created in 2013 as in 2010, the first full year of the economic recovery.

Historic Union Vote at Volkswagen in Tennessee

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Today is the third and final day of a historic union vote for workers at Volkswagen in Tennessee, in which workers will decide whether they want to be represented by the United Auto Workers (UAW) union.

Towards a Moral Economy: Is NOW the time?

The Moral March: Photo from ThinkProgress.orgThe Philadelphia Daily News' Will Bunch had an uplifting column this past Sunday on Saturday's "Moral March" in Raleigh, N.C. It was the South's largest protest march since Dr. Martin Luther King and the Selma-to-Montgomery march in 1965.

Punxsutawney Phil and Governor Corbett

I published a commentary this week on Governor Corbett's 2014-15 budget proposal this week in the Allentown Morning Call. Check it out.

Punxsutawney Phil is predicting more chilly weather ahead, but a winter-weary Gov. Tom Corbett must have spring on his mind. His budget address Tuesday painted a bright and rosy picture of Pennsylvania's future even as we remain in the grip of a long economic winter.

Camelot: Where King Arthur...I Mean Queen Dianne...Earns a Cool £2.1 Million

Pennsylvania Senate hearings on lottery expansion earlier this week focused on increasing state revenue for seniors' programs by expanding lottery games under public management (to include keno). This was a welcome shift from last year's proposed privatization of the lottery with the Camelot Group, a British company, and a temporary reprieve from more recent rumors about privatizing lottery management.

Minimum Wage Raise Would Primarily Benefit Adult Workers in PA

In January, the minimum wage rose to $8.25 an hour in New Jersey, $8 in New York, and to $7.95 in Ohio — while here in Pennsylvania it remains at the federal level of $7.25 an hour, unchanged since 2009. Legislation in Pennsylvania would change that, raising the state's wage to $9 an hour by 2015.

Small Revenue Shortfall Predicted for 2013-14 But No Need to Panic — Yet

Pennsylvania is staring at a likely revenue shortfall of more than $100 million come June when the current fiscal year draws to a close, according to the latest revenue estimates from the Pennsylvania Independent Fiscal Office (IFO). A slow-growing economy has dampened tax and other collections during the first half of the 2013-14 fiscal year, and IFO analysts think the trend will continue in the months ahead.

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