The Pennsylvania economy created 23,700 more jobs in February or the second most in the country. Only California that created 96,500 jobs created more.
For the 12 months from February 2010 to February 2011, Pennsylvania created 106,800 more jobs, ranking third in the nation. Pennsylvania ranked 7th in rate or speed of job creation, with North Dakota first and Vermont second, both of which are interesting states that are defying easy ideological classification or stereotype.
The Pennsylvania unemployment rate in February stood at 8.0 per cent or nearly a full point below America's 8.9 per cent rate.
Pennsylvania is leaving in the dust sun belt competitors like South Carolina at 10.2%, Georgia at 10.2%, North Carolina at 9.7%, Nevada at 13.6% (the highest in the nation), Kentucky at 10.4%, and Florida at 11.5%.
Pennsylvania also had a lower unemployment rate as well as a lower budget deficit than Texas, the state so many conservatives say is a model. Go to http://www.bls.gov/ and see the Regional and State Unemployment Report for February, 2011. Governor Corbett might want to rethink the line in his budget address about making Pennsylvania more like Texas.
Pennsylvania benefits from a diverse economy with strengths in education, health care, agriculture, manufacturing, energy of all sorts. The Marcellus gets a lot of understandable attention, and it is part of our job success.
But more attention should be paid to the 200,000 plus jobs in solar, wind, energy efficiency, recycling, environmental remediation.
More attention should be paid to the millions of jobs cumulatively in education, agriculture, manufacturing, health care companies and institutions that are making Pennsylvania a national jobs leader.
We should build on all of our strengths and not slash them as the proposed budget cut of 52% to state universities would do. The upcoming budget will be a watershed for our economy and future.