Starkey Citizens for a Clean & Healthy Environment
Stunning Fact: PA Unemployment Rate Rises During Last 12 Months Even As National Rate Declines

Pennsylvania is among the few states to have a higher unemployment rate in December 2012 than in December 2011. The facts are that Pennsylvania's unemployment rate was 7.9% in December 2012 and is up from 7.7% in December 2011.

Pennsylvania's economy is headed in the wrong direction, even as the national unemployment rate fell from 8.2% to 7.8%, and even as Pennsylvania becomes the third largest producer of natural gas in the country. Indeed, after years of Pennsylvania's unemployment rate being well below the national unemployment rate, December 2009 marked the fourth month in a row, when Pennsylvania's unemployment rate is above or equal to the national average.

These are ugly facts that indict the economic development and budget policies of the Corbett Administration. Corbett's failure is rooted in an assault on public education, including our state universities, that has destroyed at least 19,000 jobs. His failure is also rooted in a mistaken belief that gas drilling and gas production alone can bring Pennsylvania a broad prosperity.

Pennsylvania requires approximately 6.5 million jobs to be at full employment. Counting direct and indirect jobs created by gas drilling, gas drilling provides less than 2% of the jobs needed. Of course, no single industry by itself can possibly generate all the jobs needed in the Commonwealth. Until the Governor understands this fundamental point and reverses his war on public education, Pennsylvania's economy will remain a national laggard.

About John Hanger: I am an expert on energy, environment, green economy, competitive electric markets, and utility regulation with unique experience in and out of government. I am Special Counsel at the law firm Eckert Seamans and a Democratic candidate for Governor of PA. See You can email me at I have been both the Secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection and Commissioner of the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission. I have made leading regulatory decisions, testified to Congress and state legislatures, and been interviewed countless times, appearing on CBS evening News, NBC Evening New, CNN, BBC, CBC, and many more outlets. I am a 1984 graduate of the University of Pennsylvania and 1979 graduate of Duke University.

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