Can we stop attacking people who lost their job because of the recession?

Capitolwire reports (paywall):

House Majority Leader Mike Turzai, R-Allegheny, said there are ways to reform unemployment compensation... Turzai said: “Without a doubt, we have to look at enrollment…We have to look at what the array of benefits are and how they compare to competing jurisdictions.” He also said he favored a “strong work-search requirement” for unemployment, echoing one of the major points made by [Governor Tom] Corbett and business organizations.

Hundreds of thousands of working- and middle-class Pennsylvanian’s lost a job in the last three years for reasons beyond their control. The more people who are out of work, the longer it takes to find a job and thus the longer the period that people remain unemployed. This is why I stress time and time again that the chief challenge in the economy right now is the scarcity of job openings relative to job seekers. Concerns over whether unemployment insurance is a disincentive to find work are just not relevant when we have four unemployed people competing for each job opening.

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Welcome to Third and State, a joint blog of the Keystone Research Center and Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center.

Pennsylvania, like many other states, faces historic challenges — from ensuring that the economy brings broadly shared prosperity to working families, to addressing Pennsylvania's budget challenges in a balanced way, to implementing provisions of the Affordable Care Act, to reducing poverty and strengthening Pennsylvania's schools.

With this blog, we will present sharp and timely commentary to help you better understand Pennsylvania's economy and how state budget and other policies impact the lives of people in this state. And we'll bring it to you from our perch at Third and State — across the street from the State Capitol.

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