The good, old days from 2003 to 2011, when Pennsylvania's unemployment rate was consistently below the national unemployment rate are now long gone. Starting in October 2012, Pennsylvania's unemployment rate moved above the national rate, and February's data bought more bad news.
Pennsylvania's unemployment rate in February was for the fifth month in a row above the national unemployment rate (www.bls.gov). Unemployment in Pennsylvania during February stood at 8.1%, while the national rate was 7.7%.
Nationally, the February rate declined from 7.9% in January to 7.7%, down 0.2%, as America created 236.000 jobs. In Pennsylvania, the unemployment rate dropped just 0.1% from 8.2% in January, as Pennsylvania continues to underperform the national economy. Worse still, Pennsylvania lost 6,000 jobs in February.
Pennsylvania's poor economy is becoming a major reason why Governor Corbett is losing massive public support. The Governor's economic development policy consists of relying on the gas industry to bring prosperity to Pennsylvania, an impossible assignment for any single industry to do. Indeed, Pennsylvanians are beginning to understand that Governor Corbett's economic, energy, education, and budget policies are just not working.