Corbett’s failure to lead results in job stagnation

HARRISBURG, March 14, 2012 – – Pennsylvania’s stunning loss of 9,000 jobs in January is astounding considering there was robust national employment growth of over 730,000 new jobs during the past three months, Senate Democratic leaders said today.

Senate Democrats said these new numbers illustrate the lack of leadership by Gov. Tom Corbett and his administration on jobs, the most important issue facing Pennsylvania.

“There are still nearly a half million people in Pennsylvania that don’t have a job because the governor is not doing his,” said Sen. Christine M. Tartaglione, Democratic Chair of the Labor and Industry Committee and Caucus Secretary. “The administration’s economic policy of blind-faith budget cuts has failed working families. “

According the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Pennsylvania ranked 44th among all states in net job creation last month, far below our neighboring states.

“Gov. Corbett has failed to engage on job creation and refused to invest in key Pennsylvania resources such as our workforce and infrastructure,” said state Sen. Vincent Hughes, Democratic chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee. “It shouldn’t be a surprise that we are treading water while employment in other states and across the nation is improving dramatically.”

Democratic Leader Jay Costa (D-Allegheny) said that Corbett’s frustrating lack of focus on job creation has resulted in employment stagnation.

“The latest employment numbers provide clear evidence that Pennsylvania is on the wrong track,” said Sen. Jay Costa, Democratic Leader. “Years of investment and attention to education and job creation are being undermined. We are starting to see some real damage being done to our economy in Pennsylvania. We must focus on jobs and growth and put a stop to this downward slide.”

In addition to his lack of leadership on pushing a jobs plan similar to the comprehensive PA Works plan sought by Senate Democrats, the leaders say that Corbett’s deep and unreasonable budget cuts have crippled employment growth in Pennsylvania, and allowed the state’s working families to fall behind the national recovery.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor statistics, since January 2011, a total of 37,000 jobs have been generated here in Pennsylvania, but job growth slowed dramatically after the current year budget was adopted in June. Since September there has been no growth at all.

Just one year ago Pennsylvania ranked 7th among all states with total job growth of more than 107,000 new jobs over the prior year. It’s shocking to see us losing jobs at a time when the national economic recovery is gaining such momentum.

“These dismal employment numbers clearly indicate that it is time to refocus our budget priorities and begin investing directly in job-creation strategies,” Hughes said. “Hopefully these numbers will grab the Governor’s attention.”

The unemployment rate has been reduced marginally since December 2011. The rate is now 7.6 percent.

The Democratic Caucus has made job creation and economic development a top budget priority this year.

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