The unemployment dropped to 6.2% in February, a new low since 2008. But, of course, you already know this because the Governor Tom Corbett re-election campaign has plastered it everywhere – and rightfully so, it’s likely to boost his approval in matters of the economy.
The state job numbers will play a major role in the 2014 campaign and so this is an ongoing PoliticsPA feature.
The good news:
Obviously the best news from this report is the unemployment rate – 6.2%. This is a decrease from the impressive number in January – 6.4%. Plus, it’s significantly lower than the national average of 6.7%.
This gives Corbett evidence that his policies have been more successful than those at the federal level under Democratic President Barack Obama.
“[February]’s jobs report is an encouraging sign for Pennsylvania,” stated Corbett. “It’s simple – as we continue fighting in Harrisburg for less taxes, we are seeing more jobs. As Governor, I will keep fighting to make good on our promises that have put Pennsylvania on the path to a brighter future by reforming Harrisburg, keeping taxes low and creating more than 150,000 private sector jobs. The people didn’t send me to Harrisburg to make friends, they sent me there to make a difference, and that is what I will continue to do.”
The initial release of the unemployment rate scored praising statements from GOP Chairman Rob Gleason, Corbett’s campaign, the National Federation for Independent Businesses, NJ Governor Chris Christie on behalf of the Republican Governor’s Association, the PA Chamber of Business, The PA Manufacturer’s Association, Senator Pat Toomey and Congressman Glenn Thompson.
Compared to other states in the nation, Pennsylvania ranks 47th in job creation, when using a 12 month moving average. It’s undoubtedly an abysmal ranking, but it is an improvement from January when the Keystone State was 48th.
Since the Democrats will be hard pressed to hit Corbett on the unemployment rate, they’ll be sure to use this ranking to attack him on the economy.
“When Tom Corbett took office, we we’re 7th in the nation in job creation and now we’re 48th. Nearly 40 percent of Pennsylvania’s unemployed are long-term unemployed, meaning they’ve been out of a job for over 27 weeks. 44 out of the 67 of Pennsylvania counties have unemployment rates higher than the national average and 20,000 educators have lost their jobs in the past three years,” PA Dems spokeswoman Beth Melena told PoliticsPA. “Tom Corbett’s policies have been holding the Commonwealth back from reaching it’s full potential. Corbett has consistently made misleading claims about his job creation record rather than taking constructive steps towards improving the economy.”