Subscribe to E-Update here.
Labor Report

Republican PA Budget

Governor Wolf to Allow Republican Budget to Become Law, Warns of Looming Crisis
Governor Wolf to Allow Republican Budget to Become Law, Warns of Looming Crisis

The frustratingly odd 2015-16 budget process finally ended Wednesday when Gov. Tom Wolf decided he would allow the Republican supplemental budget bill to become law without his signature.

The governor’s approach has never been employed before to finalize a spending plan.

While it removes the tourniquets school districts have been using to keep their doors open and students learning, the Republican budget fails to address fair funding issues that have plagued basic education for decades. It also does nothing to improve investments and help to better educate our kids moving forward.

Public education is an economic development issue. Successfully undercutting our students, as GOP leadership has routinely done for years, is also hurting our future prospects for attracting and creating new businesses.

This “oh well” budget for 2015-16 also fails to invest in job creation programs.

PA Unemployment

The number 46 is, according to mathematicians, the largest even integer that cannot be expressed as a sum of two abundant numbers. The percentage 4.6, by my calculation, is a rate of PA joblessness that cannot be cracked (for now).

unemploymentThe commonwealth’s jobless rate held at 4.6 percent in February as its civilian labor force jumped by 21,000 to 6.47 million and resident employment went up by 17,000. Those increases offset the total number of formerly employed workers, whose ranks increased by 4,000.

A glimmer of good news for Philadelphia County is it finally broke the 6 percent unemployment rate in January (the most recent local statistics). Its 5.9 percent jobless rate is the lowest it has been in years and is down from 7.2 percent in January 2015.

The top 10 Pennsylvania counties for highest unemployment rate:

  1. Potter County – 7.4 percent
  2. Armstrong and Forest counties – 6.8 percent
  3. Fayette County – 6.7 percent
  4. Clearfield and Greene counties – 6.4 percent
  5. Cameron, Indiana, and Somerset counties – 6.2 percent
  6. Clinton and Tioga counties – 6.1 percent
  7. Huntingdon, Jefferson, Philadelphia counties – 5.9 percent
  8. Cambria, Lawrence counties – 5.8 percent
  9. Bradford, Venango counties – 5.7 percent
  10. Sullivan County – 5.6 percent

Who has the lowest unemployment rate in the state? It’s a tie at 3.4 percent and is held by Adams and Chester counties.

Labor Corner

Important minimum wage and labor-related news to share with you, without comment:

Labor Rights Victory: Chipotle’s Tweet Firing Ruled Illegal

Rule to Require Employers to Disclose Use of Anti-Union Consultants

Is Oregon the right model for California's minimum wage?

Nearly 1M in N.J. would benefit from $15 minimum wage, report says