Monday, August 20, 2012

As unemployment grows, it’s time to hit the road

I’m shocked -- shocked, that for the second straight year, Pennsylvania’s unemployment rate has grown as a result of passing Governor Corbett’s short-on-education-funding, high-on-business-tax-credits budget… well, not really. But I really am surprised that his approval ratings hit an all-time low (which was a tough objective even for Gov. Corbett to meet). The governor’s in such shallow territory he’ll need to pick up hei kayak and carry it on his next trip down the soon-to-be fracktastic waterways of our Commonwealth.

Surprising absolutely no one, the largest drops in jobs last month were among education professionals and health service workers.  Hmm, maybe next we’ll find out class sizes grew and after school programs have been eliminated. But I am sure we can look for future growth in the incarceration and hospital emergency room employment sectors.
Interestingly, leisure and hospitality jobs also tanked. This was after that sector reached a record high earlier this year. In actuality, Pennsylvania lost twice as many leisure and hospitality jobs from June to July 2012, than it gained in that record-setting growth from March to April. This after one of the governor’s goals for his European adventure had been to “promote and attract tourism” among the French and Germans he met. Clearly they all came in April, and left quickly so they did not have to witness the governor in his lifevest and aqua socks.

But maybe this latest trip to California can spur the same state job growth that resulted from his European vacation in March-- oh wait, since he came home Pennsylvania's unemployment has actually grown by nearly a half percent? Hmm, that’s not such good news.

Shortly after his trip to Europe, which only neared the border with the Netherlands, the governor announced the largest tax credit in the history of the Commonwealth for Royal Dutch Shell. What tax incentive will we learn about as a result of his trip to California?

Truth be told, the governor probably hasn’t even looked at these jobs numbers yet. Maybe they’re on his summer reading list, right after 2011’s TFAC and 2012’s Freeh reports. Don’t worry we’ve all been assured he’s assigned someone to investigate the matter.

Maybe a better way to facilitate job growth is to invest in Pennsylvanians. Putting our teachers back in classrooms, investing in transportation infrastructure and keeping residents healthy is a true investment in our work force.