With Pennsylvania’s unemployment rate still above 9%, Labor & Industry Secretary Sandi Vito has introduced A Profile of Pennsylvania’s Unemployed People which details the demographics of unemployed people and the recession’s effects on the workforce. Vito says this recession is the longest since the Great Depression and she believes the demographics are somewhat different from prior rates of unemployment …”so we wanted to better understand so we could better serve the unemployed.”
Vito says most of the 600,000 currently unemployed Pennsylvanians are educated, in their working prime, and – for many – facing the uncertainty of unemployment for the first time in their lives. 350,000 will exhaust their jobless benefits by April
“In Pennsylvania, and across the nation, there are about five applicants for every one job opening. This report illustrates – with clarity – the challenges faced by citizens who, through no fault of their own, have lost their jobs and are struggling to make ends meet.
Vito says the report presents the basic facts about Pennsylvania’s unemployed people, including their demographic characteristics and educational background, where they live, their work histories, and the industries and occupations of their last job.
“Pennsylvanians who are unemployed want to go back to work. We hear from people across the state that they want meaningful careers and jobs that pay a family-sustaining wage. What is also clear is that many skilled people are on the sidelines because of this recession, but could be making a meaningful contribution to businesses and our state economy. Their talents are being wasted because of a lack of job opportunities.
Vito says the report can be used by legislators and policymakers in making decisions regarding economic and workforce development programs and policies moving forward.