Pennsylvania Observer

A blog for progressive people in Pennsylvania. Greens, Democrats and others who want to comment on current news items in the Keystone State.

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

PA Local Economies Continue to Founder

PA Local Economies Continue to Founder. The Milken Institute's "Best Performing Cities Study" was released yesterday to deafening silence in the Commonwealth's media. The survey looks at economic data for the nation's 200 largest metropolitan areas. Once again, the 10 Pennsylvania cities included fared poorly.

Only one of the ten cities (Philadelphia) was in the top 100 in wage and salary growth for the five year period in the study (1997-2002). Philly was number 85 (see chart below). Reading (174), Johnstown (176) and Erie (186) were near the bottom nationally, making PA one of the nation's most economically distressed states.

5 year Wage and Salary Growth 1997-2002

Metro Area Score Rank
Philadelphia PA-NJ 99.34 85
Lancaster PA 97.75 108
Allentown-Bethlehem-Easton PA 97.25 114
Pittsburgh PA 96.14 125
Harrisburg-Lebanon-Carlisle PA 95.42 133
York PA 94.07 143
Scranton--Wilkes-Barre-Hazleton PA 92.85 155
Reading 90.82 174
Johnstown PA 90.48 176
Erie PA 89.43 186
(100= US avg.)

There were similar numbers in job growth. Only the Lehigh Valley and Lancaster cracked the top 100.
5 year Job Growth, 1998-2003
Metro Area Score Rank
Allentown-Bethlehem-Easton PA 101.75 75
Lancaster PA 101.39 85
Philadelphia PA-NJ 100.46 102
Harrisburg-Lebanon-Carlisle PA 99.61 112
Pittsburgh PA 98.68 128
York PA 98.54 129
Scranton--Wilkes-Barre-Hazleton 97.86 137
Erie PA 96.03 161
Johnstown PA 95.99 165
Reading PA 95.69 170
Milken Institute Best Performing Cities Study www.millkeninstitute.org

These numbers are frightening. But what is really scary is the nearly total lack of reporting by the corporate media. These are numbers that the public should know.

(Note- The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette did publish a story about some of the SW PA figures.)

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