19 Sep 2012

The Manufacturing Jobs Score by President Since 1948

By Stephen Herzenberg, Third and State After former President Bill Clinton claimed the “jobs score” was better in Democratic presidential administrations than in Republican ones, Colin Gordon of the University of Iowa and I did some research to see how presidential administrations scored on manufacturing job creation since Harry Truman. Our findings

04 Sep 2012

Post-Labor Day Thoughts: Middle Class Can’t Afford Another Lost Decade

By Mark Price, Third and State Labor Day 2012 is behind us, but the challenges confronting the middle class are not. As we do each year around this time, the Keystone Research Center has released the State of Working Pennsylvania. My co-author, a.k.a El Jefe, had a Labor Day op-ed

24 Aug 2012

Chaos at the PennDOT

By Sharon Ward, Third and State Now that Commonwealth Court Judge Robert Simpson has given the green light to Pennsylvania’s strictest in-the-nation Voter ID Law, tens of thousands of Pennsylvanians will have to make their way to their local PennDOT office to get a photo ID. We can tell you,

23 Aug 2012

Pennsylvania’s Natural Gas Tax Giveaway Exceeds $500 Million Mark

By Michael Wood, Third and State The state’s Department of Environmental Production (DEP) recently published a biannual report on Marcellus Shale production in Pennsylvania. (Most states require monthly reporting, but that is a different story.) In the data, we can now see how much the state has really given away

17 Aug 2012

PA’s July Jobs Report Is Out, and It’s Not Good News

By Mark Price, Third and State Pennsylvania’s unemployment rate shot up three-tenths of a point in July to 7.9%. Just two months before in May, the rate was 7.4%. Total nonfarm jobs in the state were down 3,100 in July. That’s not all. There was a big revision downward with

18 Jul 2012

Pa. Budget: Failing to Invest in a Stronger State Economy

By Chris Lilienthal, Third and State Despite ending the 2011-12 fiscal year with a $649 million fund balance, Pennsylvania fails to make the investments essential to building a strong economy or to reverse a recent trend where job growth in the commonwealth has lagged behind other states. So concludes the

10 Jul 2012

PA Starts New Fiscal Year with $400 Million in the Bank

By Michael Wood, Third and State After a less than stellar May, General Fund tax collections bounced back strongly in June — exceeding estimate by $170 million, or 6.5%. This narrowed the 2011-12 revenue shortfall to $163 million, or less than 1% of total estimated collections for the year. As

09 Jul 2012

The Human Cost of Eliminating General Assistance in Pennsylvania

By Kate Atkins, Third and State Since the Great Depression, Pennsylvania has had a General Assistance (GA) program — a small cash benefit that serves as a bridge to self-sufficiency for the temporarily disabled and for victims of domestic violence and addicts seeking help to turn their lives around. Since

22 Jun 2012

Piecing Together the PA Budget Framework

By Chris Lilienthal, Third and State Some details emerged Thursday about the state budget framework unveiled midweek by Governor Tom Corbett and legislative leaders, but questions still remain. More details may be available later today when budget spreadsheets are released. Funding for county human services is one area that appears

11 Jun 2012

The Myths Behind Governor Corbett’s PA Budget Myths

By Sharon Ward, Third and State Governor Tom Corbett’s May 21 newsletter offered up responses to five “myths” the administration claims are circulating about his proposed budget for next year. The Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center examined these myths and the myths behind the myths to give you a clear