Unemployment Would Be in Double Digits Across PA if Not For Federal Action on the Economy

From the Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center (http://www.pennbpc.org):


Federal policies saved thousands of jobs in every region; regional unemployment would be 15% or higher in many parts of the state, new report finds


Nearly 400,000 more Pennsylvanians would be out of work today had policymakers chosen to do nothing in the face of the worst economic recession in decades, according to a new report from the Keystone Research Center (KRC) (http://keystoneresearch.org/publications/research/getting-pennsylvania%E2%80%99s-economy-back-track).


Unemployment rates would be at 15% or higher in most parts of the state, with a staggering 20% rate in Philadelphia. Even places with traditionally lower jobless rates, like the Harrisburg-Carlisle and Lancaster regions, would be saddled with double-digit unemployment today.


The new report, Getting Pennsylvania’s Economy Back on Track, amplifies a key finding of KRC’s State of Working Pennsylvania 2010 report released last month: that Pennsylvania’s economy would have been much worse off without the policy actions taken by the Federal Reserve, the Bush and Obama administrations, and Congress. The KRC estimates are derived from a national-level analysis of the impact of federal economic intervention that was co-authored by John McCain economic advisor Mark Zandi.


KRC estimates that these economic policies, including the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, saved 76,000 jobs in the Pittsburgh Metro area, 110,000 in the Philadelphia metro area, and 5,000 to 27,000 in eight other metro areas.


As a growing chorus is calling for the federal government to stop priming the national economy, KRC’s estimates provide the first localized numbers on what a hands-off policy would have meant in the past two years – and an indication of what it will mean for Pennsylvania regions if federal efforts to boost job creation stop now.


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