This is Your State on Republican Economic Policy: PA Ranked 45th in Job Creation in June

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The Very Serious People keep wanting to ding Democrats for using the statistic that, under Tom Corbett, PA fell from the top of the state rankings for job creation to the bottom:

Democrats have repeatedly cited the ASU-compiled data in their charges that Corbett sunk the state from 7th in job creation to 49th. That particular claim is based on a less reliable measure of employment numbers, a simple comparison of one month to the same one in the year previous. According to that measure, Pa. ranked 46th in June, 2013.

Pa.’s unusually high rank of 6th in January of 2011 stemmed from the fact that the Commonwealth was less impacted by the recession than other large states.

Ok, but why was PA less impacted by “the recession” than other states? Because for a while, we didn’t follow the Republican austerity playbook. Then Tom Corbett and the Republicans came into office and took a meat axe to the public sector:

They claimed that slashing public sector jobs, rather than much weaker claims on the budget like the $3 billion we spend annually on fossil fuel subsidies, would unburden the Job Creators and spur a robust economic recovery in the private sector.

That did not happen. The growth rate has predictably slowed as a result of the Republican policies. We had stronger growth than most states while the Ed Rendell policies were still in the bloodstream. Once the Corbett policies started taking effect, about a year into his term, private sector job growth stalled:

Governor Corbett gets to 116,000 by limiting his count to private-sector jobs only, not the tens of thousands of teachers, police officers and other public servants who lost their jobs following years of state and local budget cuts.

Even if you restrict your analysis to the private sector, Pennsylvania’s private-sector job growth has almost stalled since about a year into the Governor’s term. To see that, take a look at the chart below.

The chart shows cumulative private-sector job growth in Pennsylvania since January 2011, the month Baer uses as his point of reference. We rely on data from a survey of employers by the Bureau of Labor Statistics known as the “establishment” survey. There is another employment survey of households done monthly by the U.S. Census Bureau, and over short periods of time, the two can differ — but as Mark Price has explained, both surveys typically tell the same story about the health of the labor market over the long haul.

Looking at data from the establishment survey, Pennsylvania’s private-sector job growth was relatively robust in 2011, yielding a total of 100,000 net new private jobs by March 2012. In the 14 months since then, however, the state has seen private jobs growth of less than 5,000; private job growth is less than 20,000 even if you use a three-month moving average for the same period.

(via Keegan Gibson and Mark Price)

This entry was posted in Miscellany.

One Response to This is Your State on Republican Economic Policy: PA Ranked 45th in Job Creation in June

  1. Julieann Wozniak says:

    When Corbett started canning public employees what did he think would happen?