PENNSYLVANIA RANKED 26TH IN JOB GROWTH LAST YEAR
HARRISBURG, February 10, 2005 –In a national climate of modest job creation, Pennsylvania finished in the middle of the pack in 2004, ranking 26th among the 50 states in the rate of employment growth. That was a significant improvement over a year earlier, however, when Pennsylvania stood 35th in percentage gain.
The state’s total non-farm employment was about 5,656,000 at the end of December 2004, according to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data. That was 70,500 more than one year earlier, a gain of 1.26 percent. The national average was 1.25 percent.
This marked the first time in at least a decade that Pennsylvania has matched the national average during an expanding economy. Pennsylvania also ranked 26th in 2001, but lost jobs that year during a national recession. Prior to 2001, Pennsylvania ranked in the mid-to-low 40s most years.
"Our standing now is in great contrast to the previous Republican administration, when we were consistently at the bottom of the ladder," said state Senator Vince Fumo (D-Philadelphia) the Democratic chairman of the Appropriations Committee.
Nevada led everyone last year with a growth rate of 4.83 percent. Michigan was the only one of the 50 states to lose jobs, declining by 1.06 percent. At 26th,
Pennsylvania was ahead of two adjoining states -- New York (38) and Ohio (49). It trailed its other four neighbors – Delaware (8), Maryland (11), New Jersey (18), and West Virginia (21).
The rankings are compiled by the staff of the Senate Democratic Appropriations Committee, using the federal government’s data.