unemployment

Carolyn Kaster / AP

A Pennsylvania man who claimed he was fired for refusing to wear a company T-shirt isn't entitled to unemployment compensation.

Pennlive.com reports a Commonwealth Court panel ruled against Aleh Kiaturka on Thursday saying he actually quit over the shirt issue.

Fired workers can collect unemployment, but the court says those who quit don't get compensation unless they have a "necessitous and compelling" reason for leaving the job.

Pennsylvania's unemployment rate dropped in September for the second straight month, as payrolls hit a record high and the labor force tightened again.

Keith Srakocic / AP

While Harrisburg is mired in balancing its overdue budget, employees in the state’s Unemployment Compensation program are getting concerned that a planned fix to their funding won’t come on time.

Hundreds of UC employees were laid off last year ago after funding wasn’t renewed over fears the program was ill-managed and cost too much.

It caused mass delays for people trying to claim unemployment benefits.

Gov. Tom Wolf / Flickr

Pennsylvania's unemployment rate crept downward in July, even as payrolls and the labor force shrank.

The state Department of Labor and Industry said Friday that Pennsylvania's unemployment rate was 4.9 percent last month, down one-tenth of a percentage point. The national rate moved up slightly in August to 4.4 percent.

A survey of households survey found that Pennsylvania's civilian labor force, employment and unemployment all shrank in August for the second straight month.

Allegheny County Airport Authority

The Pittsburgh International Airport is about to have a major makeover. Airport Authority CEO Christina Cassotis said the Pittsburgh region is "a growing, tech-focused economy" and its airport should better reflect that. The renovations are expected to cost $1.1 billion

Katie Meyer / 90.5 WESA

More than eight months after a fight over funding for the state’s jobless program, the Wolf administration says the program is still working inadequately, and needs more money soon.

At a House committee meeting Tuesday, lawmakers attempted to hammer out how to make a long-term fix. But many left saying they still didn’t have enough information.

In April, the legislature authorized a short-term, $15 million funding solution, which was designed to tide over the Unemployment Compensation Program and kick-start upgrades to its decades-old computer system.

Gov. Tom Wolf / Flickr

After a recent audit found significant accounting, technology, and funding issues in the commonwealth’s unemployment compensation system, the Wolf administration is attempting to correct its course.

But it’s not going to be an easy—or quick—process.

Lawmakers are already expressing frustration with the amount of information they’re getting about the UC system’s financial decisions.

Trump Seeks To End Program For Older Jobless Americans

May 26, 2017
Laurie Kellman / AP

Nathan Singletary is beyond the traditional retirement age, but he's only just beginning a new career — helping other low-income, unemployed Americans over age 55 find jobs.

PA Dept. of Labor and Industry

Pennsylvania's unemployment rate remained unchanged at 5.7 percent in September.

The state Labor and Industry Department said Friday that total nonfarm jobs declined 5,300 for the month.

The agency says jobs were down in seven of 11 categories.

The education and health services sector, and the government sector, each lost 6,400.

But state officials say two sectors reached record high employment levels — professional and business services with a gain of 6,700 jobs, and leisure and hospitality with 4,800.

The U.S. added 151,000 new jobs in August and the unemployment rate held steady at 4.9 percent, according to the monthly jobs report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Both those metrics fell short of expectations: Economists were expecting about 180,000 new jobs, and a slight dip in the unemployment rate, to 4.8 percent, NPR's Yuki Noguchi has reported.

But even if the numbers were somewhat disappointing, the economy has still recorded 78 straight months of job growth, NPR's Marilyn Geewax notes.

J Burkhalter / flickr

Since the 2008 economic recession, the national unemployment rate has been closely monitored. In elections year, politicians use the statistics to promote their own economic agendas. Robert Morris University professor of economics Brian O’Roark says to fully understand what the rate means for the U.S. labor force, it’s important to examine all elements involved.

Pennsylvania’s unemployment rate was 5.3 percent in September, down a tenth of a percentage point from August, according to numbers released Friday by the U.S. Department of Labor and Industry.

The state tracked two-tenths of a percentage point above the U.S. rate of 5.1 percent, unchanged since August.

Kate Hiscock / Flickr

The longer you are unemployed, the harder it is to find a job, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The Three Rivers Workforce Investment Board announced Thursday a program geared specifically to the long-term unemployed will soon be available in Pittsburgh. The Platform to Employment (P2E) program is more specialized in that it focuses solely on people who have been unemployed for at least 27 weeks.

“The needs that you have in order to get yourself back into the workforce are very different,” said Joe Carbone, president and CEO of The Workplace, which first launched P2E. “We think we assembled the right tools that are necessary so that folks who are long-term unemployed, many of which who have given up any future in terms of being a part of the workforce, can actually overcome that and come back in and be productive employees.”

For a fourth straight month, Pennsylvania’s unemployment rate remained at 5.4 percent in August, the same as one year ago. During that same 12-month period, the U.S. rate dropped a full percentage point to the current 5.1 percent.

A 2012 Pennsylvanian law aimed at making the Unemployment Compensation Fund more solvent inadvertently took its toll on seasonal workers.

The Senate Labor and Industry Committee is holding hearings to determine how to fix this law.

Three years ago, the General Assembly took action to reduce a $4 billion debt to the federal government.

$1.1 Million Announced For Teen Summer STEM Jobs

Jun 18, 2015

Local leaders announced $1.1 million in STEM funding for paid internships benefiting low-income, at-risk youth at a meeting Downtown on Thursday.

The 3 Rivers Workforce Investment Board will manage the pilot in partnership with city and county officials through the Learn and Earn program set up earlier this year. 

What Do Unemployment Numbers Really Mean?

Feb 17, 2015
Michael Carian / Flickr

Earlier this month the unemployment numbers were announced. Over two-hundred thousand jobs were added to the economy. While this is good news why do so many people feel we’re still in the recession? Robert Morris University Economics Professor Brian O’Roark explains how unemployment is assessed and who counts as “unemployed.”

Unemployment assessments are done by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. O’Roark says that the official ranks of the unemployed do not simply include people who don’t have jobs.

The unemployment rate in the seven-county Pittsburgh labor market dipped to 4.8 percent in November.

“The last time the rate was this low was in April 2008 when the rate was also at 4.8 percent,” said Ashley Yanchunas, business and industry analyst with the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry.

The number of area residents with jobs rose by 4,700 and the number of those out of work fell by 2,700 last month.

Chris Squier / 90.5 WESA

Pittsburgh continues to have lower levels of unemployment than most similarly sized cities such as: Indianapolis, Kansas City and Cleveland. 

The Steel City weathered the economic crisis of 2008 better than just about any of these cities and its low unemployment and housing prices have drawn residents back to the area. But will this trend continue?

Mark Price, a labor economist with the left-leaning Keystone Research Center in Harrisburg, discusses Pittsburgh’s prospects going forward. In particular, he explains that economic recovery has not yet affected those in blue collar jobs. 

“Two sectors that are going to be important for Pittsburgh, two sectors that have not performed well at all for obvious reasons would be manufacturing and construction… that reflects the deepness and the nature of the recession.”

Overall, however, Price does feel good about the economy going forward.

Pennsylvania Unemployment Dips in October

Nov 21, 2014

More people were working in Pennsylvania in October than had been since August of 2008. 

The Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry released its seasonally adjusted employment situation report for October 2014 on Friday, pegging total nonfarm jobs in the commonwealth at 5,802,300. That is up 12,600 jobs since September.

“We had a tremendous amount of growth,” said Sara Goulet, state Department of Labor and Industry spokeswoman.

Pennsylvania is home to nearly one million veterans, but that only tells half the story.

1,500 of them are homeless, which is a 46.2 percent increase since 2009.

About 2,400 Pennsylvania vets claimed Unemployment Compensation benefits last November according to the Center for Workforce Information & Analysis.

While the rate of job growth in Pennsylvania sits dead last among states in the U.S., the numbers in Pittsburgh are a bit more optimistic, according to recent studies by the Keystone Research Center and PittsburghTODAY.

The Greater Pittsburgh area added 7,500 jobs from September 2013 to September 2014, a 0.6 percent increase. Pennsylvania, ranked 50th for job growth since January 2011, lost 9,600 jobs in September alone.

Pennsylvania's jobless rate is up slightly but remains better than the national figure. The state Department of Labor and Industry said Friday the seasonally adjusted rate last month was 5.7 percent, up one tenth of a percentage point from June.

“There’s nothing to be alarmed about,” said Sara Goulet, a department spokeswoman. “It’s a very, very small uptick and we do see those periodically. It’s the natural ebb and flow of the employment situation.”

The U.S. rate is currently 6.2 percent.

After seeing no appreciable job growth in the Pittsburgh metro area more than a year ago, the region added 10,700 jobs between June 2013 and June 2014, according to a report from Pittsburgh Today.

“That’s a 0.9 percent increase, which doesn’t set the world on fire, but Pittsburgh has always been kind of a slow and steady grower,” said Doug Heuck, Pittsburgh Today director. “But it’s good news that we’re back growing jobs again.”

Pennsylvania ranks 42nd among all states in job growth over the last 12 months according to the left-leaning Keystone Research Center.  However, Pennsylvania’s unemployment rate for May was 5.6 percent,which was below the national rate of 6.3 percent, and better than 30 other states.

Stephen Herzenberg, the center’s executive director, said job growth in the commonwealth has been poor the last few years, but he acknowledged that the private sector created 15,600 jobs in the first four months of this year.

Older Unemployed Get New Opportunities

Jun 9, 2014

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the unemployment rate for persons ages 55 and older has increased steeply since the 2008-09 recession. Many were laid off in favor of younger employees, who are more familiar with new technology, leaving older workers with obstacles to support themselves and their families.

The Urban League of Greater Pittsburgh is working to improve the lot of older, lower-income job seekers with the Mature Workers Program, which gives eligible workers on-the-job training for up to four years at local non-profits.

Pennsylvania's unemployment rate continued its rapid drop in February, while employer payrolls inched up and the labor force grew after a 14-month skid.

The state Department of Labor and Industry said Friday that Pennsylvania's unemployment rate fell two-tenths of a percentage point to 6.2 percent last month. It was last at that mark in 2008. The national rate was 6.7 percent in February.

Bytemarks / Flickr

Senate negotiators have struck a bipartisan deal that could renew federal unemployment benefits for the long-term jobless. But the question becomes, what will happen when this legislation makes its way to the House?

US Congressman Mike Doyle has been in the House of Representatives since 1995, he's witnessed the emergence of an increasingly partisan congress and explained why he's hopeful for this legislation.

Emergency Unemployment Funds, which go to people who’ve been receiving unemployment benefits for more than six months, are set to expire Dec. 28.

“We estimate that 80,000 Pennsylvanians who are claiming emergency unemployment compensation benefits will lose those benefits as of the end of December this year because the federal government is not continuing that program,” said Sara Goulet, spokeswoman for the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry.

Initially touted as making the state’s Unemployment Compensation Fund solvent, Act 60 was passed in 2012 and implemented at the beginning of 2013. A provision in the Unemployment Compensation Solvency legislation changed the way unemployment compensation is calculated and paid to workers.

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