Pennsylvania’s jobless rate dipped one-tenth of a point to 7.4% in May. Some economists are concerned about the numbers, because the seasonally adjusted number of non-farm jobs dropped by 14,200.
Mark Price, labor economist for the Keystone Research Center in Harrisburg says the May jobs report raises concerns that a renewed weakness in the national economy is being felt in Pennsylvania.
Price says the weakness was widespread in May’s state numbers; there was weakness in almost every major sector. He says the public sector continued to shed jobs, and we have not seen the full impact of public sector layoffs because budgets are still being finalized.
Price says we will have to see if these numbers continue or if the May report is just a bump in the road. He points out Pennsylvania has added just under 80,000 jobs since the end of the recession.
He believes we’re still far off from the risk of a double dip recession, but Price says a bigger concern is growth remaining too slow. He says that would signal a long, slow, painful recovery. He says state and local governments would continue to struggle because they won’t have a lot of the revenue they had in the past and a lot of families will have trouble making ends meet. Price says what we need is much faster growth.