State of Working Pennsylvania 2010

Posted: January 20, 2011

In September, the Keystone Research Center published The State of Working Pennsylvania 2010, an annual report documenting the current state of the commonwealth’s economy and offering policy recommendations for the future.

The study applauds the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) for turning around the downward spiral of the American economy. 

The study is based on three central points:
1. Before ARRA, Pennsylvania was losing upwards of 30,000 jobs per month; however, in 2010 there has been an overall gain in jobs per month
2. Although there has been an increase in job opportunities, 300,000 jobs will still need to be added to remediate the damage caused by the recession.  
3. During years of economic prosperity, the middle class invested in risky mortgages and home equity loans in hope of increasing home values. This deficit stems from almost frozen incomes and wages for the middle class.

In recent months, economic growth has been stagnant.  High unemployment rates have severely affect tax collection services, further inhibiting economic development.  Some economists argue that budget cuts instituted by the state and local communities will impede growth more; however, with Congress recently allocating an additional 26 billion dollars in federal aid, many private sector jobs within Pennsylvania will be saved.  The study acknowledges that the private sector will not be able to solely remediate the current economic situation, and the decisions made by our government, regarding the extent of their financial support, will have significant implications for the future stability of our economy.


This report can be read in its entirety at the Center for Rural Pennsylvania website.

Prepared by Addison Weinstein, research assistant to Dr. Theodore Alter