Monday, August 2, 2010

Tom Corbett and me in the Philly Daily News

If you saw my blog last week, you already know what I think about GOP gubernatorial candidate Tom Corbett's ongoing "unemployed people are lazy" meme. I expand those thoughts in today's Philadelphia Daily News -- and even add a little research to show just how bad the jobs situation is in Pennsylvania right now:

Between June 2009 and June 2010, this is what happened:

* The state lost roughly 9,000 professional and technical jobs that had a prevailing annual wage of $73,808.

* Another 10,000 manufacturing jobs were lost in a sector that typically pays $51,529 a year.

* And the construction industry - which pays on average $51,928 a year - cut another 5,000 jobs.

So where did the state's job growth come from?

* The biggest growth was in "administrative and waste services" - 23,000 new jobs. But they paid just $30,887 a year.

* Pennsylvania added another 15,000 "leisure and hospitality" jobs, with prevailing wages ranging from $14,848 for food-service workers all the way up to $26,583 for "arts and recreation" employees.

* Only one high-wage sector added jobs: The mining industry, with prevailing annual wages of $59,907, added 3,000 new jobs.

The trend is clear: Most of the state's new jobs pay just half the wages - or worse - of all the lost jobs. If you were recently unemployed and trying to restart your career, would this be an attractive picture to you? Would you feel confident in your ability to feed and house your family?

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