Lehigh Valley Unemployment Rate Lowest In More Than 4 Years

The Lehigh Valley’s unemployment rate dipped below 8 percent in May for the first time in more than four years, another indication that the labor market continues to slowly recover from steep job losses inflicted during the Great Recession.

The Valley region’s unemployment rate in May was 7.9 percent, down from 8.1 percent in April.  It was last below 8 percent in February 2009.  The Valley’s unemployment rate remains higher than the state, 7.5 percent, and nation, 7.6 percent.

Read more: http://www.mcall.com/business/mc-lehigh-valley-jobs-may-20130702,0,2579010.story#ixzz2XusnKSrE 
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Blair County Representatives Visit Reading

If law enforcement leaders can lay out a clear-cut strategy to reduce drug and gang activity in Reading and Berks County, there is a good chance businesses will be willing to pay for some of it.

That was the feeling of Ellen T. Horan, president and CEO of the Greater Reading Chamber of Commerce & Industry, on Thursday after she and other area leaders got a rundown of how a business-fueled crime-fighting program has succeeded in Blair County.

“In our community, it would be helpful to have the business community step up, if we developed some strategies and expected outcomes,” Horan said.

The nonprofit program, Operation Our Town, was started by business leaders in Blair County to help fund law enforcement and community efforts to stop young people from becoming criminals.

Read more:  http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=454375

Pennsylvania Posts Largest Decline In Unemployment In 30 Years

Map of Pennsylvania

Map of Pennsylvania (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The number of Pennsylvania‘s unemployed decreased by 16,000 in November, the largest decline since 1983 and the second largest decline on record.

The unemployment rate was 7.8 percent in November, down three-tenths of a percentage point from the October rate of 8.1 percent, according to a press release from the state Department of Labor and Industry.

This was the lowest rate for Pennsylvania since June.

Read more:  http://www.mcall.com/news/local/mc-pa-november-unemployment-20121227,0,4281837.story

Pennsylvania Lawmakers Eye Private Sector Role In Transportation Projects

Map of Pennsylvania, showing major cities and ...

Map of Pennsylvania, showing major cities and roads (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Editor’s note:  It’s about time we look to the private sector for solutions.  Government gets in the way!

Something has to give.

Pennsylvania has far more transportation projects that need to get done than it has money for. In fact, the state is facing a $3.5 billion shortfall in government funding for transportation.

And since an overhaul in funding methods is unlikely to happen overnight at the federal or state level, Pennsylvania lawmakers are looking to what they say could be baby steps toward a fix.

One proposal in Harrisburg would allow the private sector to invest in Pennsylvania’s transportation system through an arrangement called a public-private partnership, or P3.

Read more: http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=395997

Governor Corbett Forms Advisory Council On Privatization And Innovation

HARRISBURG, Pa., Sept. 29, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — As promised in his budget address, Governor Tom Corbett today announced he has created a new Governor’s Advisory Council on Privatization and Innovation to explore if any functions now performed by state government might be better and more cost-effectively performed by the private sector.

“We have an obligation to taxpayers to find new and innovative ways to make government more efficient,” Governor Corbett said. “This panel will further evaluate potential privatization, public-private partnerships or managed-competition opportunities with the ultimate goal of streamlining government and saving taxpayers’ dollars.”…

Click here to read the rest of the article: http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/governor-corbett-forms-advisory-council-on-privatization-and-innovation-130798908.html