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PA Unemployment Numbers Worsen

Senate Democrats unveiled additional components of our "PA Works Now" job creation strategy on Tuesday.

Senate Democrats unveiled our "PA Works Now"
job creation strategy on September 26, 2011

           Pennsylvania’s unemployment numbers for September are out, and the news is not good.  What is more alarming is that Pennsylvania’s rising unemployment rate appears to be becoming a trend.

            Since June, when Pennsylvania took an axe to education and economic development, the number of unemployed Pennsylvanians has grown by more than 50,000.  That’s more than the population of Penn Hills.

            Throughout the recession, Pennsylvania stayed well ahead of the national average in terms of employment through aggressive economic development and a focus on job training.  That ended with Governor Corbett’s budget and so did our economic recovery.

            In May, we were 1.7 percentage points below the national unemployment rate -- the best we’ve compared to the national average in decades.  Now, that advantage has been cut in half and the gap is still narrowing.
            We could put people to work if we invested in our transportation infrastructure, trained Pennsylvanians for natural gas drilling jobs and aggressively applied tax credits to job creation efforts.  The bills are there, but the will is not.

            So far, we’ve seen no transportation plan from the administration and their Marcellus Shale impact plan has no provision to make sure the industry employs more Pennsylvanians.

            Today the Senate Democratic Labor and Industry Chairman made a statement on the latest unemployment numbers. To read what she had to say, click here.

PA Works NowPA Works Now Update

            Earlier this week, I along with some of my colleagues in the Senate Democratic caucus unveiled legislation to supplement our “PA Works Now” job creation plan, which has become the centerpiece of our agenda for the fall session.

            After our Policy Committee visited communities across the state and gathered valuable – and in many cases very moving – feedback, we decided to introduce bills which focus on 6 key areas.

            From increasing day care options for working mothers to incentives to grow women and minority-owned businesses – we are hopeful that these measures will help to eliminate some of the barriers that get in the way of pursuing meaningful employment. We also believe that school-to-work transition programs and training to make Pennsylvanians better suited to pursue green jobs will prove helpful.

            Creating decent jobs in Pennsylvania is foremost on people’s minds. We will continue promoting our ideas to accomplish this until we make it the number one priority on the minds of all who are serving in Harrisburg. The dialogue in the Capitol must center on this pressing issue.

            Click here to learn more about our newest legislation.

Transportation and Infrastructure Improvements – Moving Forward?

           On Wednesday, Sen. Jake Corman (R-Centre) introduced legislation and joined us in urging the governor to move on addressing Pennsylvania’s transportation infrastructure crisis. In addition to making sure our bridges and roads are safe, we want to do everything possible to put Pennsylvanians back to work.

           Our unemployment numbers are moving in the wrong direction, and getting these road projects going will no doubt provide Pennsylvania with a much-needed economic shot in the arm. We need to get people back to work. That is the bottom line and something Senate Democrats have been trying to facilitate for several months.  

           I am eager to hear specifics on the governor's intentions. His guidance is essential.

           Click here to read yesterday's Pittsburgh Post-Gazette article on the importance of improving our transportation infrastructure and creating jobs.

      REMINDER: My next Town Hall Meeting will take place on Thursday, November 3 in Penn Hills. I hope to see you there.

Town Hall

Stay Connected

        For updates on this and other legislative initiatives, stay in touch with me on the Internet through my website or on Facebook. Facebook

Property Tax and Rent Rebate program Facebook Heating Assistance / LIHEAP Official Website Video of Sen. Costa's Remarks on PA Works Now