The Herald, Sharon, Pa.

Local News

February 15, 2013

Critics: Lost government jobs a drag on economy

---- — The move to drive $1.8 billion toward transportation projects that could create thousands of jobs comes as the Corbett Administration touts private-sector job growth, while government job loss continues to drag on Pennsylvania’s economic recovery.

Critics argue that the cuts in state funding forced school districts to shed 20,000 jobs, partly canceling out growth in other areas, including the expansion of natural gas drilling which added 35,000 jobs. Overall, Pennsylvania has added just over 100,000 private sector jobs since Gov. Tom Corbett took office.

The number of state employees has shrunk by 2.6 percent – just over 2,000 jobs were eliminated on top of the 20,000 jobs eliminated in local schools. The state plans to eliminate 900 positions this year, including 400 jobs eliminated through layoffs.

Advocates for expanding Medicaid in Pennsylvania say that the move, which would extend coverage to 1-in-4 residents, would also create jobs.  Advocates contacted Thursday said they were still trying to determine what the full economic impact would be if Corbett refuses to approve the expansion of Medicaid.

The impact of funding cuts for schools is clearer.

From the 2009-2010 school year to the 2011-2012 school year, the number of educational professionals employed in Pennsylvania declined 7 percent as school districts shed 20,000 positions, according to data compiled by Keystone Research Center. Those numbers include teachers, staff and administrators and would include both positions that were not filled after an employee retired or otherwise left and layoffs.

With that decline, there are fewer people employed in public education now than there were a decade ago, said Mark Price, a labor economist at the Keystone Research Center.

Those decisions stem from a number of political decisions, some made by Gov. Tom Corbett and some made by his predecessors.

For the last decade, Pennsylvania has been cutting corporate taxes in a bid to make the state more attractive to business. But tax cuts have not netted  discernible improvement in job growth, compared to other states, Price said.

Pennsylvania escaped the Great Recession in better shape than many other parts of the country where the collapse of the housing bubble was catastrophic. But by refusing to invest in education, the state has seen its job growth slide.

In 2010, Pennsylvania ranked 8th in the nation in increased employment. By 2012, the state had fallen to 34th in increased employment.

Corbett refused to support any effort to enact a severance tax on the natural gas industry, passing up an opportunity that would have created revenue the state could have used to help provide money for schools, Price said.

 

1
Text Only
Local News
  • Community thanks its first-responders

    Sharpsville honored its emergency responders Sunday at an event that included Mertz Towers residents as special guests.

    July 28, 2014

  • Drilling boom challenges state inspectors

    The state’s 83 well inspectors face a daunting enough challenge keeping tabs on 120,000 active oil and gas wells that have been drilled over the last century.

    July 28, 2014

  • Kidds Mill Covered Bridge A span of time

    Four generations of the Cadman family have enjoyed the Kidds Mill Covered Bridge, which is in Pymatuning Township near where the family’s ancestral farm is located.

    July 28, 2014 3 Photos

  • Intruder hurts woman, takes $5

    A home invasion in Hermitage Friday night sent an elderly woman to the hospital and netted the robber $5.

    July 27, 2014

  • national night out March against crime set for Aug. 5

    At the last Southwest Mercer County Regional Police Commission meeting, Chief Riley Smoot Jr. presented the number of incidents for each of the four communities in May.

    Farrell topped out at 819.

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • high street trail Peaceful pathways

    History buffs and picnickers in the Shenango Valley won’t have to drive to Sharpsville to hang out at the old Erie Canal extension lock. They’ll soon have the option to walk or roll in on bicycles and even powered chairs to visit Canal Park near the outflow of Shenango Dam.

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • balloonquest1 Balloon Quest celebrates 25 years

    Today is the final day of the 25th annual Western Pennsylvania Balloon Quest at Scotland Meadows Park.

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • News briefs from July 26, 2014

    Man faces bomb threat charges

    June building tops $4 million in Hermitage

    July 26, 2014

  • Elderly man survives plane crash

    An elderly man survived wrecking his plane into a bank, then landing into a wetland, about 200 feet south of Runway 28 at Grove City Regional Airport in Springfield Township on Friday.

    July 26, 2014

  • Dontae Rashad Pinkins Man arrested for April gunfight

    Federal marshals and local police arrested Dontae Rashad Pinkins Thursday on a warrant accusing him of involvement in an April gunfight with another man in a Sharon alley.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • Hearing changed in starving case

    The time and place for the preliminary hearing of a Greenville mom accused of starving and beating her 7-year-old young son has been changed.

    July 26, 2014

  • Schell working on mural Drawn to Mexico

    Jason Schell probably is not exaggerating when he says that millions of people have seen his art.

    July 26, 2014 4 Photos

  • Farrell man, 24, arrested on warrant in connection with April shooting

    Federal marshals and local police arrested Dontae Rashad Pinkins Thursday on a warrant accusing him of involvement in an April shootout in Sharon.


    Pinkins, 24, of Farrell, is in Mercer County Jail after failing to post bond on gun charges.

    Additional details to follow.
     

    July 25, 2014

  • Firm will study timing of traffic signals

    Hermitage commissioners on Wednesday hired Whitman, Requardt and Associates LLP to study the timing scheme of traffic signals along parts of Hermitage Road and East State Street.

    July 25, 2014

  • 3 area fire depts. awarded grants

    Three area fire departments will share in more than $590,000 in grants meant to help Pennsylvania’s rural communities guard against the threat of fires in forests and other undeveloped areas, Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Secretary Ellen Ferretti announced.

    July 25, 2014