Jobs and Unemployment

Little Good News for PA Jobs in September and October

One of the many lingering side effects of the shutdown of the federal government in October was a delay in the release of Pennsylvania jobs data for September. Today the Bureau of Labor Statistics gives us our first look at the September jobs numbers along with preliminary numbers for October. (The Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry has yet to release its own summary.)

The job numbers were all around disappointing.

Six-State Study Finds Industry Supporters Exaggerated Jobs Impact of Shale Drilling

Drilling in the six states that span the Marcellus and Utica Shale formations has produced far fewer new jobs than the industry and its supporters claim. In fact, in Pennsylvania, shale-related employment accounted for less than half a percent of total nonfarm employment in 2012 (as the figure to the right shows).

Morning Must Read: Setting the Record Straight on Employment in Fracking

The official launch last week of Governor Tom Corbett's re-election campaign has generated another round of stories on employment generated by fracking in the Marcellus Shale.

Just the Stories ... Debating the Commonwealth Foundation on Minimum Wage

"Just the Facts" is a catchphrase the Keystone Research Center and other progressive economic think tanks use to capture our commitment to grounding advocacy for progressive values and policies in solid data and research.

Death of an Adjunct

Appearing last week on a radio program in Pittsburgh with labor historian Charles McCollester, I heard for the first time the story of Margaret Mary Vojtko, a 25-year adjunct faculty member at Duquesne University who died recently in poverty at the age of 83.

More Fun With Shale Jobs Numbers

Last week, the Marcellus Shale Coalition trumpeted a new claim on the shale drilling industry's positive impact on Pennsylvania jobs:

Raymond James analysts crunched the numbers, and between 2005 and 2012 almost 90 percent of the job growth in Pennsylvania at that time came from oil and gas jobs ... That’s the highest percentage of any state, according to analysts Pavel Molchanov and J. Marshall Adkins, who based the math off data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

As meaningless statistics go, this is one of the more meaningless.

Video: Economy Boosting Jobs

This video from our friends at Topos Partnerships explains the economy in terms everyone can understand. Economy-boosting jobs pay people enough to maintain the basic spending levels that keep the economy and our communities going. If people do not earn enough to afford the basics, like food and car repairs, the economy stalls. This video makes a compelling case that lifting low-wage workers helps everyone.

A Prolonged Shutdown Will Damage PA Economy

The Pennsylvania economy remains very weak with high unemployment and sluggish job growth so far this year. Federal policymakers are partly to blame for cutting funding to schools and other services and not doing enough to support investments that build a stronger economy.

Employment in Shale-related Industries Fell in Most Recent Year

I will be on the Pennsylvania Cable Network Call-In Program Tuesday discussing the latest on the impact of Marcellus Shale drilling on Pennsylvania's economy. So you can bet that I will be talking about new data giving us our first detailed glimpse of Marcellus Shale-related employment trends in Pennsylvania.

Secretary for the Selective Use of Statistics

On September 6, Pennsylvania Labor & Industry Secretary Julia K. Hearthway chided the Patriot-News — and, indirectly, the Keystone Research Center — for “selective use of statistics” when the paper (relying on The State of Working Pennsylvania 2013) accurately summarized the poor performance of the Pennsylvania economy from the perspective of most workers.

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