Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Income Rises, Joblessness Falls Under Corbett

“Pennsylvania’s economy continues to grow stronger under Governor Tom Corbett’s leadership in Harrisburg. Not only has Pennsylvania’s unemployment rate dropped for 10 consecutive months, but we are also seeing personal income in Pennsylvania grow faster than the national average. The choice in November couldn’t be clearer – it is a choice between a stronger Pennsylvania under Governor Tom Corbett’s leadership and a weaker Pennsylvania under Secretary Tom Wolf’s disastrous tax increase proposals that would only send us back in time to Harrisburg’s tax-and-spend era. We already know how that story ends – it ends with 8.2 percent unemployment and a $4.2 billion deficit, and that’s a weaker Pennsylvania that Governor Corbett refuses to accept.” Chris Pack, Communications Director, Corbett for Governor

Income rises 1% in Pa., thanks to construction, mining

Personal income in Pennsylvania grew faster than the national average in the first three months of the year, making the state 15th in the country, as construction and mining companies paid higher wages to attract workers.

Income grew 1 percent in the state compared with the final three months of 2013, according to figures released on Tuesday by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. Pennsylvania's income gains were higher than the 0.8 percent growth nationally. Meanwhile, inflation was flat at 0.3 percent.

The figures echoed favorable May jobs numbers and offered a hopeful sign for the state's economy, said Mark Price, an economist with Keystone Research Center in Harrisburg.

“This is a good signal that we could be finally turning the corner and see in 2014 some actual wage growth above and beyond inflation,” Price said.

It was the fourth straight quarter of income growth in Pennsylvania and the strongest period since the second quarter of last year.

Personal income includes earnings from wages, dividends, interest, rent, insurance settlements and government social benefits.

Half of the income growth in Pennsylvania came from boosts in wages, mostly from workers in the private sector as government salaries in Pennsylvania stayed flat. Transfer receipts — such as insurance settlements and government benefits — accounted for 40 percent, and the balance came from interest, dividends and rent.

Construction earnings grew 3.33 percentage points in the first quarter. That was more than any other industry except mining, which rose 5.11 percentage points, and matched good performance of construction employment over the past year, Price said. He expected that trend to continue as funding kicks in from Act 89, the $2.3 billion transportation bill passed last year. Still, 1 percent income growth is modest, and some boost was expected because employers often roll out cost-of-living adjustments at the beginning of the year, said Frank Gamrat, an economist with the Allegheny Institute for Public Policy.

“I would not get my hopes up,” he said.

Meanwhile, a survey of Pennsylvania employers showed hiring picked up in May, as the state added 24,700 nonfarm jobs.

Construction companies, business services, schools, health care and the leisure and hospitality sectors led the gains as statewide jobs climbed to 5.79 million last month, the highest since September 2008 and a 1.1 percent increase from a year ago, the state Department of Labor & Industry reported on Friday.

Read the article online HERE.

No comments: