Subscribe to On the Issues. March 22, 2013

State Senator Vincent Hughes: On the Issues Facebook Twitter

Senator Hughes An informational update for you!

This publication is your opportunity to receive regular updates on the work and the issues that I have been involved with, both in Harrisburg and throughout our community.

Please visit my website, where you will find a comprehensive overview of our work, various phone numbers and contact information to assist you in solving problems, opportunities to volunteer and assist us in our programs and opportunities to give your feedback.

Jobs Pennsylvania's Job Picture: Wrong Direction, Unemployment Up, New Job Creation Down

Rising unemployment in PA in sharp contrast to job growth in surrounding states

Pennsylvania’s employment outlook continues to be bleak. Nationally, there has been a steady climb in employment following the recession. States surrounding Pennsylvania have seen a boost in job creation. Over the past year, New Jersey’s employment grew by 66,000; New York created 111,000 new jobs. In comparison, Pennsylvania fared poorly, creating only 35,000 new jobs over the past year.

The ill-advised, misplaced policy priorities of the Corbett Administration are at fault and are continuing to take their toll on working families.  Simply put, Pennsylvania is going in the wrong direction. More than a half-million Pennsylvanians are still out of work.  Meanwhile, the governor continues to champion multiple privatization plans involving liquor stores and the state lottery that would eliminate 6,000 quality jobs. 

This needless loss of jobs resulting from short-sighted administration policies represents a continued assault on the middle class.  It includes the governor’s failure to address problems in the unemployment compensation system and his disregard for issues impacting personal care workers. 

Incredibly, in the face of these issues, the governor continues to advocate giving tax breaks to Pennsylvania’s wealthiest corporations totaling nearly $1 billion for the wealthiest Pennsylvanians.

Meanwhile, the most recent jobs numbers for February were released on Friday.  While the state unemployment rate dipped slightly to 8.1 percent from January’s 8.2 percent, in relative terms this was not a good report.  Nationally, the rate declined two-tenths of one percent to 7.7 percent.  The national rate is nearly one-half of one percent better than Pennsylvania’s rate. 

Read the Pittsburgh Post Gazette’s Saturday, March 23 report “Pa. falls further behind in jobless rate”on the new jobs numbers.

We have to change the direction the governor is taking Pennsylvania.

View 2013 Jobs Report

View December 2011- December 2012 Jobs Report

Pennsylvania’s Tumultuous Employment Woes

  • January’s unemployment rate – up to 8.2 percent from 7.9 percent in December.

  • Pennsylvania’s unemployment rate is the highest rate in more than two years.  Unemployment has fallen 1.4 points in the rest of the country.

  • 2013 Monthly Unemployment ChartIn January, the number of unemployed individuals in the state rose by a staggering 17,400 over the previous month, with the total number of jobless individuals remaining well above a half-a-million at nearly 537,000.

  • Just two years ago, Pennsylvania was 8th in job creation among states. 

  • Pennsylvania is now 43rd in job creation.

  • Pennsylvania’s unemployment rate was higher than the national rate (7.9 percent) for the month of January, the sixth consecutive month the rate has either been tied or above the national rate.

  • Until six months ago Pennsylvania had been successful in keeping its monthly unemployment rate below the national rate for more than four years -- dating back to May of 2008.

  • The state’s unemployment rate beginning in 2013 is 0.6 percent higher than it was at the start of 2012 (7.6 percent Jan. 2012), and is now 0.2 percent higher than it was when Gov. Corbett took office in January of 2011 (8.0 percent in January 2011).

  • Conversely, the national unemployment rate has dropped 0.6 percent since the start of 2012 (from 8.3 percent to 7.7 percent), and is now down 1.4 percent since January of 2011 (9.1 percent to 7.7 percent).

  • Compared to last year, Pennsylvania job growth continues to decline and now only stands at a meager 36,000 jobs added.

  • Employment growth in neighboring New Jersey is nearly double that of Pennsylvania when compared on a yearly basis, while job growth in New York has climbed by an even more impressive 111,000 new jobs compared to last year.

  • Employment growth for the national economy stands at more than 2 million new jobs created during the past year.

  • Among all states, Pennsylvania continues to fall further behind the pace of the national recovery, as evidenced by its 43rd place final standing in 2012 net employment growth.

Read More:

March 21, 2013: Rich getting richer, everyone else poorer -

March 20, 2013: Survey: Low-wage workers gloomy about future -

Learn more and provide your feedback on my website at as well as on Facebook and Twitter (@SenatorHughes).

Offices of State Senator Vincent Hughes

4950 Parkside Avenue | Suite 300
Philadelphia, PA 19131
Phone: 215.879.7777
Fax: 215.879.7778
Senate Box 203007
Harrisburg, PA 17120-3007
Phone: 717.787.7112
Fax: 717.772.0579