Capitolwire: PA employment situation continues to sour

“Tom Wolf’s Pennsylvania is losing jobs at an alarming rate. Instead of focusing on creating ‘Jobs that Pay,’ Tom Wolf’s spent the past year and a half pushing for tax hikes to fund his far-left agenda. It’s time for Tom Wolf to stop holding press conferences about creating jobs and start actually doing it.” – PA GOP Communications Director Megan Sweeney

PA employment situation continues to sour.
Chris Comisac
June 20, 2016

Since the start of 2016, Pennsylvania’s unemployment rate has jumped by nearly one full percentage point, from 4.6 percent in January to 5.5 percent in May.

During that same time period, the number of unemployed Pennsylvanians has grown by 64,600, from 296,000 in January to 360,600 in May.

And since the end of 2015, total nonfarm jobs within the state are only up a net 2,900 jobs.

So while the civilian labor force – those working or looking for work – has grown by a bit more than 100,000 people since the end of 2015, most of that figure represents individuals still looking for work. Meaning the state’s economy doesn’t appear to be generating enough jobs to meet the needs of people entering or returning to the commonwealth’s workforce.

And while the national unemployment rate is actually lower than it was at the end of 2015 (4.7 percent last month compared to 5 percent in December 2015), the nation as a whole has, just like Pennsylvania, experienced weak job creation in 2016: The nation’s job total had a net increase of only 38,000 in May, and the average monthly figure for the first five months has been just shy of 150,000. During the same period, the average monthly growth of the civilian noninstitutional population – those age 16 and older who could be employed or seeking employment – was 247,600, while May’s civilian labor force participation rate (62.6 percent) was unchanged from the end of 2015.

Last month Pennsylvania employers reported a 10,200 net decrease in jobs, with seven of the eleven employment supersectors posting losses, five by at least 2,000 jobs each. The net declines in jobs in April and May have nearly erased the job gains earlier in the year. Compared to a year ago, the state is up 39,200 (0.7 percent)

The biggest losers were the Information (down 4,600) and Leisure and Hospitality (-3,600) sectors. The Education and Health Services (up 3,400), Professional and Business Services (+2,100), Government (+2,000) and Manufacturing (+700) sectors were the only ones in positive territory.

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