PENNSYLVANIA WAS 41ST IN JOB CREATION OVER PAST 8 YEARS
HARRISBURG, January 13, 2003 –Pennsylvania’s employment grew by 7.79 percent since the end of 1994, ranking it 41st among the 50 states in job creation over that period.
The figures are from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data for total non-farm employment from the end of December, 1994 through the end of November, 2002. The figures for the final month of 2002 will not be available for several more weeks, but they will not change Pennsylvania’s overall standing.
For the eight-year period since 1994, Pennsylvania ranked behind four of its six neighboring states – Delaware (14th), Maryland (16th), New Jersey (29th), and New York (37th). Ohio was 43rd and West Virginia 47th.
The state gained about 407,500 jobs over the past eight years, climbing from 5.232 million to 5.639 million. Most of those gains came during the extended national economic boom that lasted into the year 2000. During that period, Pennsylvania trailed the rest of the nation badly in job creation, usually ranking in the mid-40s but dropping as low as 47th in 1999.
It wasn’t until the national economy weakened that Pennsylvania began to lookbetter compared to other states. The state ranked 26th overall in 2001, but that was the first time in 10 years that it experienced a net decrease of jobs from the previous year. In that year, 49 of 50 states also had declining job figures.
"While the rest of the country was enjoying tremendous job growth in the late 1990s, especially in the technology sector of the economy, Pennsylvania did not," said state Senator Vincent J. Fumo (D-Philadelphia), the chairman of the Democratic Appropriations Committee. "So when a lot of those new technology businesses failed, many other states suffered job losses that were worse than ours, because we had never gained many high-tech jobs to begin with."
Now that the dot-com economy has contracted and the job climate in that sector of the economy has stabilized, Pennsylvania is closer to its traditional ranking of the past eight years. For the first 11 months of 2002, Pennsylvania slid to 38th among the 50 states, with a decline in employment of 0.42 percent. Thirty states had a net loss of jobs heading into the final month of 2002.
"During most of the Ridge-Schweiker Administration, this state’s policy was to cut corporate taxes under a promise to improve the business climate, but we got very little job growth that we would not have experienced anyway through the strong national economy," Fumo said.
"At the same time, the state allowed its share of education funding to decline, forcing local school districts to increase property taxes on their residents," he added. "For the past eight years, Pennsylvania took money that should have gone to education and instead gave tax breaks to big business, and we got almost nothing back in return."
#Link to 8-Year Job Ranking Chart
Link to 2002 Job Ranking Chart