By Cherri Gregg
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The latest US jobs report is due to be released this morning. But a recent study from a Pennsylvania policy group paints a bleak picture when it comes to job growth in the Commonwealth.
At 50 years old, Tracey Davis remembers the days when full-time work was plentiful.
“I had no problems finding a job at all,” she says.
Fast forward a few years and Davis finds herself, unemployed or scraping by on part-time work. She thought she got a break three months ago with a full-time housekeeper position at a Philadelphia hotel, but.
“I’m already being downsized,” says Davis, “I’m on call all this week and I might get eight hours, if anything. I am already looking for full-time employment elsewhere.”
“In Pennsylvania, since 2010, job growth has progressively gotten worse,” says Mark Price a labor economist with the Harrisburg based Keystone Research Center. The group released “State of Working Pennsylvania,” which says wages are down and while Pennsylvania increased the number of jobs over three years, it added the same amount of jobs in 2010, the year after the Great Recession, as added did in 2011, 2012 and 2013 combined.
“The layoffs that we experienced in the public sector are much larger that what many other states that went through deeper recessions had to experience,” says Price, who notes Pennsylvania cut 45,000 jobs. The move is said to have caused a “mini” recession in the state.
According to the report, Pennsylvania ranks #46 in terms of job growth, adding only 5,400 jobs between January and July 2013.
“Pennsylvania created the least amount of jobs in what otherwise should be a robust recovery,” says Price, “policy makers steps to make cuts made the situation worse than it would otherwise be.”
Price says investments in education and infrastructure could help turn things around. In the meantime, Davis is keeping her head held high.
“I’m going to keep trying,” she says.