unemployment

Gov. Tom Wolf / Flickr

Pennsylvania’s unemployment rate remained stable and on par with the national rate in December, although the labor force and payrolls shrank, according to state figures released Friday.

Pennsylvania’s unemployment rate was 6.7%, down one-tenth of a percentage point from November's adjusted rate of 6.8%, the state Department of Labor and Industry said.

The rate shot up from 4.7% just before the pandemic hit to 16.1% in April, Pennsylvania's highest rate in more than four decades of record-keeping.

The national rate was 6.7% in December.

AP

Pittsburgher Criseena Johnson is one of millions of people who will lose her unemployment benefits in a matter of days, without Congressional action.

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

Driven by the pandemic and related restrictions, and public health concerns, employment in Pittsburgh’s restaurant industry has declined by more than 31,000 workers compared to this time last year, according to research released last week.

Pittsburgh International Airport

On today's program: Pittsburgh International Airport increased safety protocols for COVID-19, but fewer than half of their usual passengers are flying this holiday; Consumer trends expert Audrey Guskey predicts Black Friday will include more online shopping, social distancing and some crowds; and we hear from some still waiting on pandemic unemployment benefits, eight months in.

PA Dept. Of Labor Shows Small Employment Gains In October

Nov 20, 2020
Steven Senne / AP

The Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry reports the state’s unemployment rate fell down 1% in October to 7.3%.

Pennsylvania Sees Another Big Monthly Drop In Jobless Rate

Oct 16, 2020
Allyson Ruggieri / 90.5 WESA

Pennsylvania’s unemployment rate began to look like the rest of the nation's in September, taking another steep drop from its post-pandemic high as the labor force and payrolls grew, according to state figures released Friday.

Williamsport-Based Shop-Vac Blames 400+ Layoffs On COVID-19. Workers Say That's Not True

Sep 29, 2020
Provided by Candice Gair

Shop-Vac Corp., a brand that is to wet-dry vacuums what Kleenex is to tissues or Band-Aid is to adhesive bandages, is shutting its doors after 53 years. Based in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, the company began laying off its staff of 427 on Sept. 15.

In termination letters, the company blamed COVID-19 and a buyer who “without warning walked away from the deal.”

Those familiar with Shop-Vac’s finances say the pandemic is being used to justify the rapid liquidation of a company that employed some workers for decades.

Gene J. Puskar / AP

Businesses are starting to recover from pandemic-related layoffs and economic activity, according to a new survey from PNC. One hundred fifty small and mid-size Pennsylvania business owners and executives responded to the survey.

New PUA Payments Paused In PA Due To Uptick In Suspicious Claims

Sep 22, 2020
Keith Srakocic / AP

Pennsylvania is suspending payments for new claims to the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program, known by its acronym PUA, while the state deals with a spike in suspected fraudulent claims.

Keith Srakocic / AP

 


On today's program: Though the unemployment rate remains high, some sectors of the Pittsburgh economy are beginning the slow recovery process; the new school year poses additional difficulties for students who lack secure housing; and guidance on traveling during the pandemic can be confusing.

Michael Dwyer / AP

 


On today's program: Governor Tom Wolf says he cannot extend the state-wide moratorium on evictions and foreclosures; during the pandemic, some veterans lack internet access, causing difficulties when applying for work; and Black-owned businesses are closing at faster rates and are less likely to see federal aid. 

The Confluence launched as a daily program two years ago today. Our first program was a conversation with Police Chief Scott Schubert on tensions between police and protestors following the death of Antwon Rose II. We've come a long way from two years ago and not that far at all. From our team, thank you to our listeners and supporters. To the guests who shared their stories and expertise, thank you as well.

Allyson Ruggieri / 90.5 WESA

Pennsylvania’s unemployment rose in July to remain well above the national rate, even as payrolls rebounded for another month from pandemic-driven shutdowns, the state reported Friday.

Pennsylvania Opting In To Trump's $300-A-Week Jobless Pay

Aug 18, 2020
J. Scott Applewhite / AP

Pennsylvania will ask the federal government for a new round of $300 in weekly unemployment benefits under a presidential order tapping into disaster relief aid, Gov. Tom Wolf's labor and industry secretary said Tuesday.

Gene J. Puskar / AP

When Pennsylvania businesses shut down en masse on March 16 due to the coronavirus, Bloomfield resident Abbey Rideout lost both her jobs within a day. She had worked as a barista at Pittsburgh’s Tazza D’Oro and Crazy Mocha cafés, but nearly five months later, she’s still out of work – and now she's lost a crucial lifeline that helped keep her head above water.

Tony Dejak / AP

Bucks County members of the Republican Caucus are calling for the House Oversight Committee to look into what they call “the failure of the Unemployment Compensation program” during the coronavirus pandemic.

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

A new University of Pittsburgh survey offers initial insights into how Pennsylvania’s COVID-19 response impacted Allegheny County’s labor force in the weeks after the statewide shutdown went into effect. 

Pennsylvania Unemployment Claims Backlog Persists

May 29, 2020
Tony Dejak / AP

State officials said Thursday they’re making progress, but acknowledge more needs to be done to whittle down an unemployment compensation claims backlog that has persisted for more than two months.

Allyson Ruggieri / 90.5 WESA

Pennsylvania’s unemployment rate skyrocketed in April at the height of the state's pandemic-driven shutdown to its highest rate in over four decades of record-keeping, the state Department of Labor and Industry said Friday.

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

Fred Graham, owner of Graham’s Greenhouse and Landscaping in Bradford put in an application for the federal Paycheck Protection Program as quickly as he was able to, on the second day applications were accepted.

Pennsylvania Jobless Claims Exceed 1 Million Since Outbreak

Apr 6, 2020
Keith Srakocic / AP

More than 1 million Pennsylvania residents have filed unemployment compensation claims since the coronavirus began taking a severe toll on the economy in mid-March, as the state Department of Health on Monday reported more cases and more virus-related deaths.

Why Is Pennsylvania Leading The Nation In Unemployment Claims?

Apr 1, 2020
Matt Rourke / AP

Unemployment claims have reached historic levels nationwide as coronavirus mitigation efforts effectively shutter the national economy, and it’s Pennsylvania that is outpacing the nation in the number of claims filed.

Mark Nootbaar / 90.5 WESA

 


On today's program: How the nation’s $2 trillion stimulus package could land in Pittsburgh; what we know so far about PA’s record number of unemployment claims; and how home health workers are trying to stay safe during the pandemic.

Keith Srakocic / AP

Pennsylvania's jobless rate is up slightly but remains near record lows under state records that go back four decades.

Margaret J. Krauss / 90.5 WESA

Shikha Goodwin moved to Pittsburgh last year with her husband, two small children, two cats, and all of her hopes and dreams to start a new job. The city has dealt her some tough blows and she is now looking for work. Even in the midst of her uncertainty and doubt, however, Goodwin says Pittsburgh has grown on her, thanks to moments like driving through the Fort Pitt Tunnel early in the morning.

Margaret J. Krauss / 90.5 WESA

Working for a wage is a big part of life for most adults in the United States. Since last August, Still Working explored what those jobs mean, or don't mean, to people, and how work affects how they view the world. The final episode of the series, however, looks past paid labor. Shihka Goodwin describes the difficulty of searching for a job. Mary Sprajcar discusses her volunteer labor at the Humane Animal Rescue Wildlife Center in Verona, Pa. And Dr. Demetrius Ellis reflects on his retirement and the newfound time for family, friends, and golf.

Gov. Tom Wolf / Flickr

Pennsylvania's unemployment rate stayed the same in December, at close to a two-decade low, although payrolls still jumped to a new record high.

The state Department of Labor and Industry said Friday that Pennsylvania's unemployment rate was 4.2 percent last month.

The national rate is 3.9 percent.

A survey of households found Pennsylvania's civilian labor force grew by 21,000. Employment rose by 16,000 to a new record of nearly 6.2 million, while unemployment also rose by 5,000 to 274,000.

Allyson Ruggieri / 90.5 WESA

Pennsylvania's unemployment rate remained stable in January, even as employment and payrolls crept down slightly.

CMU Economics Prof Grilled By Democrats During Fed Confirmation Hearing

Jan 23, 2018
Jacquelyn Martin / AP

Federal Reserve board nominee Marvin Goodfriend said Tuesday he supports the Fed's political independence and its dual goals of achieving stable prices and low unemployment. But those assurances did not seem to satisfy Democrats who say Goodfriend's past policy positions are at odds with his current views.

Goodfriend, an economics professor at Carnegie Mellon University, faced tough questioning from Democrats on the Senate Banking Committee during his confirmation hearing. He won the backing of Republicans who spoke favorably of his conservative views.

Allyson Ruggieri / 90.5 WESA

Pennsylvania's unemployment rate crept up in December, even as payrolls hit a record high.

Frank Victores / AP

 

In Monday night’s contest between the Pittsburgh Steelers and Cincinnati Bengals, Steelers linebacker Ryan Shazier was taken off field during the first quarter with a back injury that reportedly caused him to momentarily lose feeling below the waist. The game was called “vicious” by many, but others, including Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, say that violence is normal for AFC North football.

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