Following the release of April job numbers for Pennsylvania today, Keystone Research Center research analyst Maisum Murtaza released the following statement on the health of the state’s economy.
“Pennsylvania gained 11,400 jobs in April and 31,300 in the past two months with an upward revision of the March number. The state has added nearly 300,000 jobs since the end of 2020, a period of impressive and sustained growth. Pennsylvania’s unemployment rate fell in March to 4.8 percent, below the pre-pandemic 5.1 percent.” Access more in-depth blog post here.
Most Pennsylvania industries reported job growth in April including Manufacturing, which gained 5,200 jobs, and Leisure and Hospitality, which gained 4,200 jobs.
The economic recovery from the pandemic recession has been much more rapid than the recovery from the Great Recession of 2008-09 because of a more robust federal policy response on a bipartisan basis in 2020-21 and from Democrats and the Biden Administration in March 2021 when they passed the American Rescue Plan (ARP).
Even so, Pennsylvania remains about 178,000 jobs short of the February 2020 level. Moreover, federal assistance to working families—for expanded unemployment benefits, rental assistance, small businesses, and the child tax credit—has ended or is winding down. To keep the economy moving forward, Pennsylvania needs to use the state’s multi-billion-dollar surplus to provide assistance to working families and small businesses and to fund the Governor’s proposed $1.85 billion investment in K-12 education. Pennsylvania should also raise Pennsylvania’s minimum wage so that lower-wage workers can spend more at local businesses to maintain the economy’s forward momentum.
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