Monday, July 12, 2010

Onorato: Corbett "Out of Touch" On Joblessness

Democratic gubernatorial nominee Dan Onorato (photo) is pouncing on Republican nominee Tom Corbett’s recent comments about unemployed workers who are turning down job offers.
During a campaign appearance in Lancaster County on Friday, Corbett said “the jobs are there,” but many workers are passing up opportunities in order to keep collecting unemployment benefits.
Corbett says that’s what he’s been hearing from business owners across the state.
Onorato says Corbett is out of touch.

"To somehow turn this and put the blame on them, as though they don’t want a job because there might be an unemployment check out there. Well then you either have never known anybody who was unemployed, or you’re just naive to the situation. Or you just don’t care."

Corbett’s statement is similar to comments made by Republican lawmakers in Washington, DC who are opposing an extension of federal unemployment benefits.
But, Onorato refused to say whether he fully backs extending unemployment benefits.

"I wouldn’t be opposed to it but I’m not lobbying – that’s not my issue right now. My issue is to get jobs back to Pennsylvania. Congress has got to make a decision on what they think is best."

Still, the Attorney General is now trying to soften the original comments.
According to, Corbett said during a Monday campaign appearance that he was just relaying anecdotal information. He says Pennsylvania needs to lower its 9.1 percent unemployment rate.
But the head of a conservative trade association is backing Corbett up.
Kevin Shivers, the executive director of Pennsylvania’s National Federation of Independent Businesses branch, says small business owners are telling his group they can’t find applicants for job openings.

"Or B, when you think you’ve found a qualified candidate, that person telling you, ‘look I just lost my job. I’m collecting unemployment. Is there any way that you can either pay me under the table or really, if you could just hold out a few more weeks until I can finish up my unemployment benefits.’"

Shivers says he hears the complaint at least once a week.

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