Economic Recovery Part Two: We Need More Action on Jobs and Wages

Posted: May 13, 2011

The American Recover and Reinvestment Act of 2009 is an economic stimulus package in hopes of creating jobs and promoting investment and consumer spending during the recession. A recent report entitled, Economic Recovery Part Two: We Need More Action on Jobs and Wages, reveals updates on the effect of the Act and other actions of Pennsylvania’s economy and its metropolitan areas.

The Act forced the federal government to take aggressive action to create jobs; which successfully turned Pennsylvania and the nation from a recession towards recovery. Throughout Pennsylvania, this federal action saved 400,000 Pennsylvania jobs and prevented a rise in unemployment to 15%.
Pennsylvania’s employment numbers have been fluctuating throughout the years, but recent studies have shown that Pennsylvania is healthier than most other states, ranking third, based on the number of jobs created in 2010. Unfortunately, the unemployment rate in Pennsylvania still remains at 8.5%, illustrating the federal action has not done enough to replace the thousands of jobs lost due to the housing bubble. One of the reasons the economy will be slow to recover from the Federal Recovery Act is the attrition of middle-class workers’ wages over the past three decades since many of the gains go to the highest earners. For Pennsylvania to maintain and expand its unemployment and job-growth rate advantage, it is necessary to enact an aggressive jobs plan, and these steps are being implemented slowly.

The report can be read in its entirety at the Keystone Research Center website.

Submitted by Abigail L. Miller, Research Assistant to Dr. Theodore Alter.