Thursday, January 29, 2009
Several think tanks, advocacy groups and unions are calling on US Senator Arlen Specter to vote yes on the economic stimulus package when it comes up for a vote in the Senate. Among the organizations is the Keystone Research Center. Mark Price is a labor economist with the Center, which focuses on creating an “equitable Pennsylvania economy.” He says the state fared well in the first months of the recession but it is starting to feel the pinch. He says the state looks to be shedding 14,000 jobs a month. He says the stimulus package passed by the House will do a good job of creating much-needed jobs. Price says if past recessions can serve as a model, unemployment will continue to grow even after the recession is over. He says at best the unemployment rate will peak in 2010. If the recession is deeper than those seen in 1990 and 2001 the peak may not come until 2011. Price says it is important to combat unemployment early in the recession to lower numbers in out years.