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Labor Report

Jobless Pulse By County

Philadelphia might soon find itself on the outside looking in at the state’s top-10 list for highest unemployment rates.

That’s a good thing!

My home county has fallen to a tie for 10th in state Department of Labor & Industry’s March tabulation of county joblessness:

  1. Fayette and Forest counties - 8.2 percent
  2. Greene and Potter counties - 8.0 percent
  3. Armstrong County - 7.6 percent
  4. Somerset County - 7.5 percent
  5. Clearfield County - 7.4 percent
  6. Venango County - 7.3 percent
  7. Indiana and Sullivan counties - 7.2 percent
  8. Clinton County - 7.1 percent
  9. Tioga County - 7.0 percent
  10. Jefferson and Philadelphia counties - 6.9 percent

Pennsylvania’s rate of unemployment is 4.9 percent, while Adams County had the lowest rate in the state at 3.7 percent.

All but one county (Cameron) enjoyed a drop in jobless rates. Cameron County held steady.

May Day for Workers

AFSCME asks a good question in a blog post by Olivia Sandbothe: “Can you put a price on the safety, happiness and education of a child?”

child CareSandbothe asks the question because PA child care workers, on average, make 39 percent less than their counterparts in other states. And, while they make more than minimum wage, don’t you really want the woman or man watching your son or daughter while you work to make more than $10.31?

While sending our kids to day care has gotten very expensive, Sandbothe points out that wages are not the driving force behind that increase.

“This is a problem that must be addressed at every level. State programs are underfunded, labor laws have historically undermined the value of child care workers, and our culture does not always recognize the importance of child care services,” she wrote.

I agree.

Labor Corner

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

Pennsylvania Women Work still waiting for funds delayed by state budget impasse

Fast Food Industry Looks To Skirt Labor Law, With An Assist From Scott Walker

Supreme Court Turns Away Challenge to Seattle Minimum Wage Law

Florida Gov. Rick Scott wants to use the minimum wage hike to steal California businesses

US Department of Labor launches new veteran employment website