The Great Recession and the slow economic recovery that followed have hit Pennsylvania families hard. Unemployment in the commonwealth remains high, and many people are struggling to make ends meet. In February, Pennsylvania's unemployment rate stood at 6.2%, one-half of a percentage point below the U.S. rate of 6.7%.
As the recession took its toll last year, more Americans fell into poverty, saw their incomes decline, and joined the ranks of the uninsured, according to new data from the U.S. Census Bureau. In 2010, the poverty rate increased to 15.1%, the highest level since 1993.
Coming out of the recession, Pennsylvania must take a forward-looking approach to the state budget that focuses on creating jobs and ensuring our long-term economic success, according to a report released today.
Pennsylvania added 65,000 jobs in 2010, ranking third in the nation in job creation coming out of the recession. Neighboring New Jersey, on the other hand, ranked 50th in job performance for the same time period, losing 31,000 jobs.
Gov.-elect Tom Corbett and the new Legislature will face big fiscal challenges when they take office in January, writes Sharon Ward in a new commentary. They would be wise to remember that states, like businesses, must invest to grow.
Poverty rates remained essentially unchanged in Pennsylvania from 2008 to 2009, but some parts of the state saw a jump, according to the Census Bureau's American Community Survey. The new report also offers a snapshot of health insurance rates in communities across the state.