Rendell: Private Sector Employment on the Rise

Governor Rendell: Action Must be Taken on Permanent Solutions for Job Creation

Emphasizes Importance of Transportation Funding, Infrastructure Investments

Harrisburg – Private sector employers in Pennsylvania added 3,400 jobs in July, Governor Edward G. Rendell said today noting that more needs to be done to dig out of the national economic doldrums.

“Our private sector continues to show growth, with 3,400 jobs added in July,” Governor Rendell said. “Since the beginning of the year, we’ve added 52,400 private-sector jobs.

“Hiring is occurring, but we need to accelerate the pace and do more to put Pennsylvanians back to work by making targeted investments in our transportation infrastructure that will create tens of thousands of jobs,” he said, noting that the Department of Labor & Industry reports Pennsylvania construction employment rose by 2,400 in July.

He illustrated the value of infrastructure investments by highlighting the fact that in July more than 8,400 Pennsylvanians were working directly on nearly 200 highway and bridge repair projects funded by the President’s stimulus investments.

In addition, more than 3,000 people were working in indirect jobs — jobs making steel, concrete and asphalt, most of which is made in Pennsylvania — to support those road and bridge projects. That means nearly 12,000 people were employed because of road and bridge investments.

“We cannot afford to sit back and wait for the national economic situation to correct itself,” Governor Rendell. “The mixed news in the July statistics released today is evidence we need to take action now to make strategic infrastructure investments that create jobs.”

In July, the state’s unemployment rate1 rose one-tenth of a percentage point to 9.3 percent, but still continues to outperform the national rate, which was 9.5 percent. The state rate has been at or below the national rate for 88 of the past 91 months. The nonfarm job count2 was down 7,000 – due largely to the loss of temporary U.S. Census jobs, while the private sector added jobs.

“The temporary jobs provided by the Census gave all of our economies a boost, and it gave our workers a sense of hope that there was a light at the end of the tunnel.
Now it is time for Pennsylvania to stand up and use that momentum to push our economy forward and put more people to work,” the Governor added.

Governor Rendell has asked the General Assembly to enact legislation before their scheduled October recess to solve the transportation funding shortfall.

“There is no disagreement that our roads and bridges are in desperate need of repair and there is no dispute that infrastructure investment is the best job-creator available,” Governor Rendell said. “I’ve given our legislators the key, now all they have to do is turn it and get the next phase of our economic recovery started.”

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