HARRISBURG – April 12, 2013 — Bad news continues to pile up for Pennsylvania workers, while the state’s economic leaders look to South America for answers, state Sen. Christine M. Tartaglione said today.

Figures released by the U.S. Department of Labor this week show Pennsylvania with the sharpest rise in new unemployment claims, while claims for the nation as a whole fell sharply.

“We need serious leadership and commitment right here at home,” Tartaglione said. “We continue to fall behind the rest of the country in job creation while leading in unemployment claims and the answer isn’t going to be found thousands of miles from the cities, towns and schools that need help.  We have the ability, right here, to create a 21st century economy.”

New unemployment claims jumped by more than 3,000 in March, according the the Department of Labor.  U.S. unemployment claims dropped by more than 300,000.

The news comes on top of reports that Pennsylvania has had a higher unemployment rate than the rest of the country for six consecutive months, after having a better jobless number for nearly four years.

“The last two years have been a disaster in terms of where we stand among states in our ability to create jobs and participate in the national recovery,” Tartaglione said. “Simple solutions, like investment in transportation infrastructure, schools and tax reform are collecting dust while administration officials and hand-picked friends are collecting souvenirs.  It’s unthinkable.”

In a conference call with reporters Tuesday, administration officials announced that a South American company will create 74 jobs in Central Pennsylvania.

“That probably didn’t go over very well with the 3,000 people who just filed for unemployment,” Tartaglione said.

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