Pennsylvania Tax Burden Ranks 10th Nationally

Map of Pennsylvania

Map of Pennsylvania (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Pennsylvanians’ state and local tax burden reached its lowest point in more than a decade in 2011, but it still climbed to rank as the nation’s 10th most onerous, up two spots from the year before, an analysis released this week shows.

The Washington-based Tax Foundation said Pennsylvanians shelled out $4,374 per capita in state and local taxes in 2011, or 10.3 percent of their per-capita income of $42,268. About 10.5 percent of income went toward state and local taxes in 2010, the foundation said.

“This trend was largely driven by the growth of income,” said Tax Foundation economist Liz Malm, explaining the slight decline.

About 27 percent of Pennsylvanians’ tax money went to other states. Aside from sales, excise, income, corporate and other taxes paid in other states, the Tax Foundation factors what it calls tax exporting.

Read more: http://triblive.com/news/adminpage/5882443-74/tax-state-taxes#ixzz2y3z5waOg
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Pennsylvania Climate Plan, Recommendations Released

Map of Pennsylvania

Map of Pennsylvania (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Pennsylvania’s climate action plan arrived just in time for Christmas, but it’s already a year late.

The draft document — an update of a 2009 plan to decrease greenhouse gas emissions in the state — comes out of the Department of Environmental Protection. It’s based on workplans recommended by a 15-person committee representing industry, government and nonprofits.

The legislation that required this report said the update should have been issued at the end of 2012.

The latest climate action plan proposes expanding natural gas distribution pipelines to give more Pennsylvanians access to the fuel. It also advocates encouraging operators of coal mines to capture some of the methane vented into the air before, during, or after mining activity.

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/news/environment/2013/12/20/State-climate-plan-recommendations-released/stories/201312200062#ixzz2o2UTDBS7

Pennsylvania’s Unemployment Rate Falls As More Drop From Work Force

Pennsylvania’s unemployment rate fell to 7.3 percent in November from October’s 7.5 percent, the Department of Labor and Industry reported this morning.

The rate, which is seasonally-adjusted, fell mostly because people who were unemployed quit looking for work rather than because they found new jobs.

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/business/2013/12/20/Pennsylvania-s-unemployment-rate-falls-as-more-drop-from-work-force/stories/201312200143#ixzz2o2SV0sr4

US Manufacturing Grows At Fastest Pace In 2½ Years

WASHINGTON (AP) – U.S. manufacturing grew in November at the fastest pace in 2½ years as factories ramped up production, stepped up hiring and received orders at a healthy clip.

The Institute for Supply Management said Monday that its index of manufacturing activity rose to 57.3. That was up from 56.4 in October and was the highest since April 2011. A reading above 50 signals growth.

One component of the index, a measure of hiring, rose to its highest level in nearly 18 months. And a gauge of export orders reached its highest level in nearly two years. Overseas demand is benefiting from modest recoveries in Europe, Japan and China.

Manufacturing activity has now expanded for six straight months after hitting a rough patch in the spring. The steady gains suggest that growth is remaining healthy in the current October-December quarter.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/business/20131202_ap_4978c48d3b504648b48b0acc2f267984.html#flx0Btf732s7obLS.99

Jobs In Lehigh Valley Hit New Peak

After more than three years of sluggish job growth, the Lehigh Valley has replaced all of the roughly 25,000 jobs wiped out during the country’s worst economic crisis in generations.

The region had 351,400 jobs in April, a new high, according to data released Wednesday by the state Department of Labor and Industry.  The old record of 350,200 was set in June 2007, just before the Great Recession hit, bringing 2 1/2 years of plant closures and cutbacks that put the local labor market in a tailspin.

The number of jobs in the Valley hit a recessionary low of 324,700 in January 2010 and has since been slowly recovering.

The private sector is driving job growth.  Gains in warehousing, tourism and business services were partially offset by cuts in government and public school jobs.  Warehousing and business services — a broad jobs category that includes bookkeepers, janitors, landscapers and engineers — both hit new highs in April.

Read more:  http://www.mcall.com/news/breaking/mc-lehigh-valley-jobs-april-20130529,0,2958420.story

PhillyInc: Philadelphia Has Gained Much, But Not Jobs

English: This is my own work, Public Domain Ph...

English: This is my own work, Public Domain Photograph, not copyrighted Ed Yakovich http://www.flickr.com/photos/10396190@N04 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Several macrotrends have broken Philadelphia’s way:  The city’s population is growing again.  Residential building is up, and the city has seen an influx of college-educated young adults over the last decade.

But one trend remains stubbornly negative, as three recent research reports make clear: The city continues to lose jobs. The latest such evidence was included in the Center City District’s “State of Center City, 2013″ report, released Monday.

The special-services district can rightly brag about the increased vibrancy in the area wedged between the rivers and Vine and Pine Streets.  The city is cleaner since 1990, serious crime is down, and the churn in retail stores and restaurants is source of small-business strength.

Employment, though, remains a weakness, and if the long-term trend of job destruction does not change, it’s hard to imagine that the city could continue to maintain momentum in other areas.

Read more:  http://www.philly.com/philly/business/columnists/20130423_PhillyInc__Philadelphia_has_gained_much__but_not_jobs.html

PNC Forecasts Strong 2013 For Pittsburgh Region

Locator map of the Greater Pittsburgh metro ar...

Locator map of the Greater Pittsburgh metro area in the western part of the of . Red denotes the Pittsburgh Metropolitan Statistical Area, and yellow denotes the New Castle Micropolitan Statistical Area, which is included in the Pittsburgh-New Castle CSA. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Pittsburgh regional economy, which snapped back from the recession early but stalled in 2012, is poised to head higher again this year, according to forecasters at PNC Financial Services Group.

A reviving national economy will provide the oomph needed to reignite growth locally, PNC economist Kurt Rankin said in an interview.

The Pittsburgh region experienced above average growth in the first two years of the economic recovery in 2010 and 2011, but hit a lull the middle of last year.

Pittsburghers were more willing to spend coming out of the recession than consumers in many other regions because the local economy did not fall as far, but that willingness has been fully tapped, Mr. Rankin said.

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/business/news/pnc-forecasts-strong-2013-for-pittsburgh-region-679225/#ixzz2NYkffzC6

Nashville’s Latest Hit? The City Itself

NASHVILLE — Portland knows the feeling.  Austin had it once, too.  So did Dallas.

English: Collage of Nashville landmarks. Top r...

English: Collage of Nashville landmarks. Top row: 2nd Avenue, Kirkland Hall (Vanderbilt University), The Parthenon; Middle row: Nashville Skyline; Bottom row: LP Field, Grand Ole Opry, Ryman Auditorium. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Even Las Vegas enjoyed a brief moment as the nation’s “it” city.

Now, it’s Nashville’s turn.

Here in a city once embarrassed by its Grand Ole Opry roots, a place that sat on the sidelines while its Southern sisters boomed economically, it is hard to find a resident who does not break into the goofy grin of the newly popular when the subject of Nashville’s status comes up.

Mayor Karl Dean, a Democrat in his second term, is the head cheerleader.

Read more:  http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/09/us/nashville-takes-its-turn-in-the-spotlight.html?pagewanted=1&_r=0&hp

Mayors Tout Jobs Growth In Lehigh Valley

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As a national jobs report released Friday pointed to a surge in hiring, the mayors of four of the Lehigh Valley‘s largest municipalities gathered in front of the future minor league hockey arena in Allentown to tout the Valley’s growth.

The mayors — Ed Pawlowski of Allentown, John Callahan of Bethlehem, Sal Panto Jr. of Easton and Ed Hozza Jr. of Whitehall Township — didn’t announce a new project on the same scale as Steel Stacks or an out-of-state company bringing hundreds of jobs. Instead, they praised the creation of 40 jobs for workers who are making way for the hockey arena at Seventh and Hamilton streets.

That number, Pawlowski said, will grow to 1,000 during construction.

The mayors gathered in front of the demolition site just days after revelations that the special tax district that will help pay for the $158-million arena may divert and delay the return of the Valley’s municipalities’ earned income taxes.

Read more: http://www.mcall.com/news/local/allentown/mc-allentown-hockey-arena-jobs-20120203,0,1222186.story

Pittsburgh Ranks 37th In Best-Performing Cities List

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The Pittsburgh metro area fell five spots but remained in the Top 40 in the 2011 Milken Institute Best-Performing Cities Index measuring economic and job growth.

Pittsburgh was ranked 37 on the 2011 list compared to 32 in 2010. This year’s No. 32 was York-Hanover, Pa; the only other Pennsylvania city in the top 50 was Philadelphia, at No. 49.

Pittsburgh was 30th in the United States when it came to one-year job growth during the recession years of 2009-10, and 60th in terms of five-year growth from 2005 to 2010. It was 50th in terms of job growth from June 2010 to June 2011, the Milken Institute said.

Read more: http://www.bizjournals.com/pittsburgh/news/2011/12/19/pittsburgh-37th-best-performing-city.html?ed=2011-12-19&s=article_du&ana=e_du_pub

ZERO Job Growth Reported For August

For the first time since 1945 our country reported a net job growth of ZERO, for August! 2011  Unemployment remained at 9.1 percent.  Companies are not laying off or hiring.  We are in a holding pattern.  Hourly wages fell in August.

Consumer and business confidence has been shaken by the federal debt limit feud, the downgrading of our long-term debt and the financial crisis in Europe.  The result is a stock market drop.

Unless job growth is improved immediately, another recession is likely.

To read the entire article about our economic mess, click here,

http://www.centredaily.com/2011/09/02/2899388/hiring-standstill-points-to-growing.html#storylink=rss?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter