Governor Rendell: Economy Demands Continued Investments That Create Jobs, Improve Quality of Life

Sep 16, 2010, 14:05 ET from Pennsylvania Office of the Governor

Points to Importance of PA Way to Work Program, Infrastructure Investments

HARRISBURG, Pa., Sept. 16 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Governor Edward G. Rendell today urged federal and state legislators to quickly approve initiatives that create jobs and improve the quality of life for Pennsylvanians.

Pennsylvania's unemployment rate(1) fell by one-tenth of a percentage point to 9.2 percent in August. The state's rate has been at or below the national rate, for 89 of the past 92 months, but the job count(2) fell by 16,900 over the month.

"The August unemployment numbers present a mixed message that is indicative of the struggling national economy," Governor Rendell said. "Since the beginning of the year, private-sector employers in Pennsylvania added 44,300 jobs. We are creating jobs, but we need to quicken the pace of our job-creation efforts to get our job count moving upward. We can achieve that by investing in infrastructure and preserving job creation initiatives."

Governor Rendell noted the important role infrastructure investments will continue to play in our economic recovery efforts.

"For every $1 billion invested in infrastructure projects, about 35,000 jobs are created," Governor Rendell noted. "That is why I am thrilled by the president's recent proposal to create a National Infrastructure Bank and allocate $50 billion to repair and modernize our highways, bridges, rails and airports. This would be a terrific first step and give our economy a much-needed boost, creating thousands of jobs for skilled workers.

"I look forward to working with the president to iron out the details of his proposal and push for congressional approval as soon as possible. Meanwhile, we have critical transportation infrastructure needs here in Pennsylvania that demand the General Assembly's immediate attention."

Governor Rendell said he is pleased to see that the PA House of Representatives this week introduced legislation that would invest $1.3 billion in the state's transportation system.

"This legislation will not only create tens of thousands of jobs, it will improve the well-being and safety of millions of Pennsylvanians who travel our roads on a daily basis," Governor Rendell said. "This is an important safety and job-creation issue that deserves the full time and consideration of the House and Senate to take action before they recess for the November election."

The Governor also urged the U.S. Congress to take action to preserve funding for employment initiatives such as the PA Way to Work program, a statewide, subsidized employment program using federal Recovery Act funds to place nearly 15,000 adults and 10,000 youth into temporary employment opportunities by covering 100 percent of private and non-profit employers' gross wages up to $13/hour for adults and $7.25/hour for youth. The initiative is set to expire on Sept. 30.

"More than 4,600 Pennsylvania employers have used PA Way to Work to hire more than 25,000 unemployed people who would not have had jobs without this federal funding," Governor Rendell said. "This initiative is 100-percent job creation, and I urge the U.S. Congress to listen to the voices of our employers – and workers – and act swiftly to extend this program."

Information on Pennsylvania's transportation funding crisis is available online at More information about the PA Way to Work initiative is available at

Media contacts:

Troy Thompson, L&I; 717-787-7530

Gary Tuma, Governor's Office; 717-783-1116

Editor's Note: The Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry today released "Pennsylvania's Employment Situation August 2010." To receive a copy, call (717) 787-7530.

(1) The monthly Unemployment Rate is based on the Current Population Survey (CPS). CPS, also known as "household" survey, data is the primary source of Civilian Labor Force and Employment statistics.  It is a monthly household survey conducted by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, reaching about 2,500 households in Pennsylvania. This survey counts how many people are employed, regardless of how many jobs they are actually working.

(2) The monthly Nonfarm Job Count is based on the Current Employment Statistics (CES), also known as "payroll," survey and is the source of nonfarm jobs data by industry.  It is a monthly survey of employers conducted by L&I's Center for Workforce Information & Analysis in conjunction with the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, reaching about 7,000 businesses. This data may include multiple jobs held by a single individual.

SOURCE Pennsylvania Office of the Governor