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May Jobs Report: Unemployment Hits Five-Year Low

Unemployment-300x225The latest state unemployment report has been released, so let’s take a look at the good and the bad.

Good News

Pennsylvania’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate continues to fall, and reached 5.6% this May. Down 0.1% from April, this month boasts the lowest rate since September of 2008.

The state’s rate is lower than the national average unemployment which still stands at 6.3%.

May marks the 10th straight month of falling unemployment rates in Pennsylvania. The private sector created 21,700 new jobs, while the public sector created 3,000. May displayed a record high 5,078,000 total private sector jobs.

Governor Corbett is pleased with the ongoing progress.

“The people of Pennsylvania elected me on my promise to bring fiscal responsibility back to state government, and we continue to see clear evidence that our agenda is working as we see another positive jobs report,” he stated. “My opponent is calling for higher spending and more tax increases, but that will just make Pennsylvania weaker. Pennsylvania cannot afford to go back to those days, and as your Governor, we will continue building a stronger Pennsylvania.”

The Corbett campaign sent out a number of statements praising the Governor’s work including from two of his predecessors.

Former Pennsylvania Governor Mark Schweiker is happy with Pennsylvania’s current outlook, and commented that its success is due to Governor Corbett’s “Less taxes, more jobs” plan.

“Governor Tom Corbett’s determination and ‘More Jobs, Less Taxes’ agenda has led to our state’s lowest unemployment rate in over five years,” Schweiker stated. “Governor Corbett has stood up for what the people of Pennsylvania elected him to do despite facing incredible adversity from special interests groups who want to go back to the old tax-and-spend days in Harrisburg. I couldn’t be more proud of the work he has done as our Governor, and look forward to what the next four years of his leadership holds for our Commonwealth.”

Tom Ridge, another former GOP Pennsylvania Governor, also praised Corbett.

“At a time when the national unemployment rate remains stagnant, Pennsylvania’s unemployment continues to free-fall thanks to Governor Tom Corbett’s resolute leadership in Harrisburg,” stated Governor Tom Ridge. “The steadfast resolve of Governor Tom Corbett and his ‘More Jobs, Less Taxes’ agenda has returned our state to solid financial footing and has driven our state’s unemployment rate to its lowest levels since September 2008. I am incredibly proud of Governor Corbett’s determination to do what is not necessarily the politically convenient thing to do, but instead what is right for the people of Pennsylvania – that’s the type of leadership Pennsylvanians need in Harrisburg.”

The positive numbers arrive at a time of need for the Corbett-Cawley campaign, as opponent Tom Wolf’s post-primary poll numbers appear formidable.

Bad News

The state’s civilian labor force – the number of people employed or actively seeking employment – fell by 12,000. Resident employment fell by 6,000, the first decline in eight months.

The state stands at 46th in the nation in job growth, although that represents a one-spot improvement from last month.


14 Responses

  1. Not Ready-

    These may be victims who came forward once Kane started her investigation, so they may not have been known to Noonan or whomever he spoke to.

    Nothing in Kane’s carefully worded statement contradicts this possibility. She is clearly trying to protect their identities, while also revealing that there were were claims that additional abuse may have occurred as a result of Corbett’s foot dragging in arresting Sandusky sooner.

  2. I notice that this article doesn’t delve into what kind of “private sector” jobs have been created and if they pay a living wage. Does a minimum wage job dipping ice cream cones count here if it doesn’t pay enough to pay the rent? Because unemployment benefits are getting tougher to get, does that mean people have stopped filing or looking for work?

    But the thing I love most about this whirling dervish of a story is Tom Ridge — the man who brought you the pension crisis and tax dollars for sports stadiums and chronic fearmongering while heading Homeland Security — giving kudos for a great job. Not sure that he would know one when he saw it. He had the good fortune to be governor during the tech boom in the 90s. Things were not looking so good when he left.

  3. DD: The Sandusky well is dry. Most of the voters in PA do not live in the same alternative reality that you do and think Kathleen Kane is a joke and an embarassment. Good luck selling that spin, tho.

  4. ” will do what is right for Pennsylvania” ??

    When does he plan to start?

    He’s failed to protect the environment.
    He’s failed to properly fund bridge inspections and protect public safety (they did update signs lowering weight limits instead of inspecting)
    He’s failed to properly tax oil/gas extraction.
    He’s failed to adequately fund education.
    He’s fought to deny people the right to vote (and spent tax dollars on misleading ads while the court suspended his voter suppression scheme to further deceive the public)
    He’s fought against the right of same sex couples to marry
    He tried to sell off our lottery to a British firm.

  5. It’s good to finally see someone who actually knows the facts talking on a forum like this. Governor Corbett has, and always will do what is right for Pennsylvania. The tax-and-spend method that put Pennsylvania in a deficit problem was inherited by Governor Corbett. The additional 150,000+ jobs added to the private sector by Governor Corbett is only a plus and helps Pennsylvanians. Overall, you can’t just blame the Governor for running a deficit with the ridiculous amount of spending programs put in place by his predecessors

  6. Not Ready-
    Sandusky report is a brief reminder that under Corbett the AG’s office dragged their heels (while vigorously pursued politically motivated investigations).

    Corbett about to enact another crappy budget.

  7. Sandusky investigations turns up no impropriety. Unemplyment at 5 year low.

    Bad week for PA Dems.

  8. M.R. Birkos I think you need to check your facts.

    First, over his four years in office Corbett created 150,000 jobs in the private sector.

    From 2011 to 2013 Pennsylvania ranked 2nd in the country in labor force participation growth rate according to an official report from the Department of Labor & Industry. I don’t think Rendell’s policies would have induced job growth for 3 years after he left office, let alone at all. A shrinking labor force is a trend the entire country has been experiencing, but Pennsylvania was losing less of it workforce than almost any other state over this period. In addition to this, since 2010 PA’s unemployment rate has dropped below the national unemployment rate where it previously was above. This can only mean that the extreme drop in PA’s unemployment rate comes from job creation more than a drop in the labor force participation relative to the rest of the country. Yes the number of employed has dropped by 12,000 but this is insignificant compared to the number gained in the past.

    Also its convenient to use a statistic for the number of jobs in 2007 when he was not governor. In fact there are 5,078,000 private sector jobs in PA which is the highest its been in 5 years. This means that Corbett has increased the number of jobs from when he took office. You’re using a pre-recession statistic which is unfair to compare to today.

    Also your facts on Ed Rendell’s budget are just not accurate. When Corbett took office he faced with a 4.2 billion dollar deficit from Rendell’s excessive spending and within a year returned an on-time and on balance budget through smart spending cuts that has continued for each year he has been in office.

  9. Standard & Poor says every other state recovered 95% of jobs lost since 2008. PA has only recovered 78%. We have 44,000 fewer jobs than in 2007.

    So far this year, we have lost 5,000 more public sector jobs, and 2,400 manufacturing jobs. Many of the new private sector jobs are low-pay no-benefit retail. People with two part-time jobs are counted twice.

    PA is on of only 9 states running a deficit.

    PA job growth was robust in 2011, largely due to Ed Rendell’s policies, and the $1 billion surplus from his 2010 budget.

    Since February 2012, PA job growth has been flat. But relative to the job growth of the rest of the nation – we are about 140,000 jobs short to where we would be if PA had not dropped from 7th to 46th in job creation since 2011. We lag behind all surrounding states, except New Jersey.

    Even gas jobs have ebbed since 2011.

  10. Does the report count all the political hand jobs Corbett’s been giving to his corporate owners?

  11. The headline is surely misleading.
    Governor Corbett found the way to reduce the unemployment numbers – shrink the number people employed or actively seeking employment :”the number of people employed or actively seeking employment – fell by 12,000.”
    Also, let him try to spin the fact that MORE Pennsylvanians are unemployed thanks to him and his policies: “Resident employment fell by 6,000,”

  12. ‘More Jobs, Less Taxes’ …. more deficits, less road/bridge inspection/repair, higher tuition, fewer services, more pollution, less environmental oversight

    How long can PA run on deficits?

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