Subscribe to On the Issues. July 11, 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.

Hello,

JobsI have some good news: Unemployment in the US fell by nearly 1 million workers over the past 12 months, lowering the rate to 7.6%.  Our national unemployment rate is now 1.5 percent lower than where it stood in January of 2011.  This sharp decline reflects steady job growth of more than 2.2 million jobs during the past year.  Our national economy is moving in the right direction.

Unfortunately, the news is not as rosy in Pennsylvania. PA’s unemployment rate has declined at only one third the pace of our US economy, down 0.5 percent since January of 2011, when the current Governor took office.

Meanwhile, the pace of job growth remains anemic here.  This year PA ranks 45th out of all states for new job creation.  We are one of only six states with net negative employment growth since the conclusion of 2012. Since January 2011 PA ranks dead last in job growth among its bordering neighbor states. The sustained economic expansion happening all around us and throughout the nation is not happening here.

Why is Pennsylvania lagging so far behind? There are a few simple explanations. Governor Corbett's failed budget strategy to give big business tax cuts at the expense of all other budget needs has been a colossal failure.  The governor cut funding for public education by $1 billion in his first two budgets. As a result, more than 20,000 local school district employees have been laid off across the state. We need investments in our education system to restore these positions and thus far the Governor has refused to make that commitment.

State Employment Growth (Thousands)
Percentage Change In Total State Employment
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Rank % Growth
01/11-04/13
State Total EmpJan. 2011 Total Emp May 2013 Net Emp Growth Net % Change
1 New Jersey 3,835 3,962 127.70 3.33%
2 New York 8,620 8,897 277.00 3.21%
3 Maryland 2,532 2,609 77.20 3.05%
4 Ohio 5,062 5,214 152.00 3.00%
5 West Virginia 748 770   21.90 2.93%
6 Delaware 418 425 7.20 1.72%
7 Pennsylvania 5,665 5,740 75.10 1.33%
Total 26,879 27,617 738.10 2.75%

The Governor has reduced funding for job training, job creation, and workforce development programs. This is unacceptable when nearly a half million people in Pennsylvania are still unemployed. Senate Democrats offered a budget that would have restored much of this funding, but it was rejected by Republicans in late June. We will keep fighting to find the necessary resources to provide assistance to job seekers.

Senate Democrats also fought to pass a bill to provide comprehensive funding for transportation needs statewide. This plan, which was put together with extensive input from Senate Democrats, included major repairs to roads, bridges, and other types of infrastructure. We estimate that these construction projects alone would create over 70,000 jobs. Our plan, which passed out of the Senate but stalled in the PA House, also included long-term funding for public transportation.   

Finally, we will keep fighting for Medicaid expansion to provide health insurance for 500,000 working individuals. Medicaid expansion would bring the infusion of $4 billion in federal funds for our health-care system, creating between 35,000 and 40,000 new jobs. That’s the kind of proactive program that puts Pennsylvania back to work.

I’ll keep fighting in Harrisburg. In the meantime, stay tuned for more about how you can get involved in the struggle.

Sincerely,

State Senator Vincent Hughes 

Jobs Plan Offered By Senate Democrats:

  • Restore funding for school districts to re-hire teachers and other workers – 20,000 jobs
  • Accept $4 billion in federal funds to expand Medicaid and create jobs in the health-care industry – 35,000 – 40,000 jobs
  • Pass statewide transportation funding plan to repair roads and bridges – 70,000 jobs
  • Restore funding for job training, job creation and workforce development

 

State Employment Growth (Thousands)
Percentage Change In Total State Employment
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Rank % Growth 12/12-05/13 State Total EmpDec. 2012 Total Emp May. 2013 Net Emp Growth Net % Change
1 Utah 1,266 1,284 17.40 1.37%
2 Idaho 629 637 8.30 1.32%
3 Texas 11,025 11,161 136.60 1.24%
4 Mississippi 1,108  1,122 13.60 1.23%
5 Oregon 1,644 1,664 19.80 1.20%
6 Washington 2,885  2,919 33.90 1.17%
7 Maine 594 600 6.70 1.13%
8 Michigan 4,029 4,073 44.30 1.10%
9 South Dakota 416 420 4.30 1.03%
10 Tennessee 2,740 2,767 27.00 0.99%
11 New Hampshire  635 642 6.20 0.98%
12 Delaware 421 425 4.10 0.97%
13 Florida 7,452 7,511 59.10 0.79%
14 New Jersey 3,932 3,962 30.00 0.76%
15 Colorado 2,336 2,354 17.80 0.76%
16 Maryland 2,589 2,609 19.60 0.76%
17 Ohio 5,175 5,214 38.90 0.75%
18 Georgia 3,989 4,017 28.00 0.70%
19 Nebraska 962 968 6.60 0.69%
20 Minnesota 2,752 2,770 18.30 0.66%
21 Connecticut 1,640 1,650 10.70 0.65%
22 California 14,525 14,613 87.50 0.60%
23 North Dakota 439 441 2.60 0.59%
24 West Virginia 766 770 4.40 0.57%
25 Alabama 1,885 1,895 10.80 0.57%
26 New York 8,847 8,897 50.20 0.57%
27 Iowa 1,516 1,524 8.20 0.54%
28 Virginia 3,746 3,766 20.10 0.54%
29 Indiana 2,924 2,937 13.30 0.45%
30 Massachusetts 3,299 3,314 14.50 0.44%
31 Arizona 2,488 2,499 10.50 0.42%
32 New Mexico 807 811 3.40 0.42%
33 Montana 446 447 1.60 0.36%
34 Kansas 1,366 1,370 4.40 0.32%
35 Rhode Island 466 467 1.30 0.28%
36 Louisiana 1,945 1,950 4.90 0.25%
37 Oklahoma 1,618 1,622 4.00 0.25%
38 North Carolina 4,032 4,042 9.60 0.24%
39 Missouri 2,688 2,693 5.30 0.20%
40 Arkansas 1,181 1,183 2.20 0.19%
41 Illinois 5,773 5,781 8.30 0.14%
42 Kentucky 1,837 1,839 2.20 0.12%
43 Wyoming 289 289 0.30 0.10%
44 Nevada 1,159 1,159 0.10 0.01%
45 Pennsylvania 5,743 5,740 (2.20) -0.04%
46 Wisconsin 2,796 2,794 (1.70) -0.06%
47 Hawaii 612 611 (0.70) -0.11%
48 South Carolina 1,877 1,874 (2.40) -0.13%
49 Vermont 306 305 (1.00) -0.33%
50 Alaska 335  331 (4.30) -1.28%
         
Total 133,284 134,098  813.90 0.61%

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

Offices of State Senator Vincent Hughes

www.senatorhughes.com

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