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Labor Report

Unionized Teachers Stand Nationwide for Adequate Education Funding

teacherUnionized Teachers Stand Nationwide for Adequate Education Funding Massive education funding cuts, wage stagnation and the struggle for reasonable healthcare coverage have prompted public school teachers to take statewide labor actions across the country in recent months. This ABC report notes that a successful week-long strike by West Virginia educators in February, backed by the American Federation of Teachers and the National Education Association, has inspired teachers unions in Oklahoma, Arizona, Kentucky and most recently Colorado to take similar action.

“Scores of Colorado teachers left their classrooms Monday and descended on the state capitol in Denver for what was billed as a ‘Day of Action,’ in which they lobbied legislators to boost their pay and provide more funding for education. The teachers also held a boisterous rally at the capitol this afternoon, chanting, ‘You left me no choice, I have to use my teacher voice!’” ABC reported.

State AGs Balk at Federal Program Giving Wage Withholders a Free Pass

Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro and New York AG Eric Schneiderman are among 11 state attorneys general who have joined forces to condemn a new Trump administration program that allows employers to avoid penalties when they under-pay workers.

The U.S. Department of Labor’s new Payroll Audit Independent Determination (PAID) pilot program is designed ostensibly to expedite payments to workers when employers self-report inadvertent overtime and minimum wage violations. Schneiderman said the program actually lets businesses avoid any punishment for underpaying workers and blocks victims from suing their employers.

“(It’s) nothing more than a Get Out of Jail Free card for predatory employers,” Schneiderman said.

“Allowing employers to self-audit and report is like Americans auditing their own tax returns and reporting themselves to the IRS if they were dishonest, in order to avoid interest, penalties and fines,” Shapiro said.

The pilot program began early this month and is scheduled to continue for six months.

Railroad Supply Employees Seek Damages in ‘No-Poaching’ Case

Employees of the world’s two largest railroad equipment manufacturers have filed a class action lawsuit seeking damages stemming from an alleged no-poaching agreement between the two companies.

Western Pennsylvania-based Westinghouse Air Brakes Technologies Corp. (“Wabtec”) and Germany’s Knorr-Bremse AG early this month settled an anti-trust case in which the U.S. Department of Justice alleged that the companies along with the former Faiveley Transport S.A. began conspiring at least as early as 2009 not to recruit or hire each other’s workers without prior approval. Wabtec purchased Faiveley in 2016.

The employees now allege that this collusion depressed employee compensation, restricted employee mobility and stifled innovation.

“This illegal conspiracy among employers harmed thousands of their employees, for years. This lawsuit seeks money owed to Knorr and Wabtec employees whose earnings were less than what they should have been in a competitive market,” said plaintiffs’ attorney Sathya Gosselin, a partner in the Hausfeld firm.

Labor Department Releases List of Largest PA Employers

Labor and IndustryThe Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry just released its latest quarterly list of the 50 largest individual employers statewide as well as the largest employers in each of the state’s 67 counties. The new data also include statewide and county by county lists of industries with the largest employment.

Statewide, the federal government employs the most people, followed by state government. Wal-Mart is the largest private sector employer (third overall), followed by the University of Pennsylvania. The largest industry is restaurants and other eating places, followed by general medical and surgical hospitals, then elementary and secondary schools.

Click here for the full L&I report or here for PennLive’s summary of the report.

PA’s Unemployment Rate Remains at 4.8% in March

Unemployment RateToday, the Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry (L&I) released its employment situation report for March 2018.

Pennsylvania’s unemployment rate remained at 4.8 percent in March. The rate has been 4.8 percent for ten consecutive months. The commonwealth’s rate stayed above the U.S. rate of 4.1 percent, which was also unchanged from February. Since March 2017, the Pennsylvania unemployment rate declined by two-tenths of a percentage point.

The estimated number of Pennsylvania residents working or looking for work, known as the civilian labor force, was down 18,000 over the month to 6,393,000 because of declines in both employment and unemployment. Resident employment and unemployment were also each down over the past twelve months, by 26,000 and 20,000, respectively.

The estimated number of jobs in Pennsylvania, referred to as total nonfarm jobs, was up 2,700 from February to a record high of 6,004,600. This was the twelfth record high in a row. Jobs were up in seven of the 11 industry super-sectors. For the second month in a row, education & health services experienced the largest gain. Education & health services and professional & business services both reached new record highs in March.

Since March 2017, total nonfarm jobs in Pennsylvania were up 1.4 percent. During this same timeframe, nine super-sectors in the commonwealth added jobs. The largest volume increase over the past 12 months was in education & health services, up 35,000, while the largest drop was in government, down 2,400.
Additional information is available on the L&I website at www.dli.pa.gov or by following us on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.

Current Labor Force Statistics
Seasonally Adjusted
(in thousands)
        Change from Change from
  March February March February 2018 March 2017
  2018 2018 2017 volume percent volume percent
Civilian Labor Force 6,393 6,411 6,440 -18 -0.3% -47 -0.7%
Employment 6,089 6,101 6,115 -12 -0.2% -26 -0.4%
Unemployment 304 310 324 -6 -1.9% -20 -6.2%
Rate 4.8 4.8 5.0 0.0 ---- -0.2 ----
Civilian Labor Force 161,763 161,921 160,235 -158 -0.1% 1,528  1.0%
Employment 155,178 155,215 153,064 -37  0.0%0.0% 2,114  1.4%
Unemployment 6,585 6,706 7,171 -121 -1.8% -586 -8.2%
Rate 4.1 4.1 4.5 0.0 ---- -0.4 ----
Note: April 2018 labor force and nonfarm jobs statistics will be released May 18,2018.


Pennsylvania Nonagricultural Wage and Salary Employment
Seasonally Adjusted
(in thousands)
Change from Change from
March February March February 2018 March 2017
2018 2018 2017 volume percent volume percent
Total Nonfarm Jobs 6,004.6 6,001.9 5,920.6 2.7  0.0%  84.0  1.4%
Goods Producing Industries 847.6 848.6 828.8 -1.0 -0.1%  18.8  2.3%
  Mining & Logging 27.2 27.4 25.5 -0.2 -0.7%  1.7  6.7%
  Construction 256.0 255.8 242.4 0.2  0.1%  13.6  5.6%
  Manufacturing 564.4 565.4 560.9 -1.0 -0.2%  3.5  0.6%
Service Providing Industries 5,157.0 5,153.3 5,091.8 3.7  0.1%  65.2  1.3%
  Trade, Transportation & Utilities 1,129.5 1,128.9 1,125.3 0.6  0.1%  4.2  0.4%
  Information 82.1 81.9 83.7 0.2  0.2% -1.6 -1.9%
  Financial Activities 322.7 323.9 320.3 -1.2 -0.4%  2.4  0.7%
  Professional & Business Services 811.0 810.7 797.4 0.3  0.0% 13.6  1.7%
  Education & Health Services 1,272.3 1,269.6 1,237.3 2.7  0.2% 35.0  2.8%
  Leisure & Hospitality 576.1 576.5 564.4 -0.4 -0.1% 11.7  2.1%
  Other Services 262.7 262.0 260.4 0.7  0.3%  2.3  0.9%
  Government 700.6 699.8 703.0 0.8  0.1% -2.4 -0.3%
For a more detailed breakdown of seasonally adjusted jobs data at the sector level, please contact the
Center for Workforce Information & Analysis at 1-877-4WF-DATA, or visit www.workstats.dli.pa.gov
Note: April 2018 labor force and nonfarm jobs statistics will be released May 18,2018.





Labor Department Releases List of Largest PA Employers