Secrets of the Job Hunt


Monday, May 12, 2008

Getting a Job in Pennsylvania

One of the areas that has been responsible for a generating a large number of Pennsylvania jobs in the past has been hit hard by both high gas prices and the slump in the housing market. In Lehigh Valley the average price of a home has fallen by 2.3 percent since March of 2007, according to the local Association of Realtors. Despite this, the Valley has not been as drastically effected as many other areas throughout the nation because the number of foreclosures remains fairly low.

But as real estate values dropped, Lehigh Valley’s ability to generate new Pennsylvania jobs decreased. Although unemployment remained the same from February to March, the almost 22,000 residents who are unable to find work is the highest number of jobless individuals the area has had in the last four years, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry.

March’s unemployment rate of 5.3 percent was the highest in the area since the summer of 2004. The figure is also four-tenths of a percentage point above Pennsylvania’s jobless rate and two-tenths of a percent higher than the national average.

In recent years this region has been the primary generator of jobs Pennsylvania. In March 2006, Lehigh Valley had created 8,200 new jobs since the previous year. As of this March, the area has only been able to add approximately 400 new Pennsylvania jobs in the last year.

The largest employment gains the area’s labor market were in education and health services, where 2,200 new Pennsylvania jobs were created in the last year. The government sector also added 1,100 new positions and the leisure and hospitality industry created 1,000 jobs. Despite the promise these jobs gains offer, they were offset by the loss of approximately 2,100 jobs in trade, transportation and utilities and the loss of 1,400 Manufacturing jobs.

New data shows that it is possible that a large number of local jobs could be lost within the next 10 to 20 years as a result of foreign outsourcing. According to an analysis by the Economic Policy Institute (EPI) 286,000 Pennsylvania jobs are “highly offshorable” and another 755,000 are “offshorable”. This means that a total of 1,041,000 Pennsylvania jobs are vulnerable to be outsourced to foreign countries. This figure represents 18 percent of the state’s total workforce of 5.7 million. The threat of losing this many Pennsylvania jobs has brought into light the need for new trade and tax policies.

The EPI used Princeton economist and former Federal Reserve Vice Chairman Alan Blinder’s “offshorability index” to determine which jobs were likely candidates for outsourcing. When Blinder himself analyzed the US job market as a whole he found that 29 to 38 million jobs could be potentially outsourced in the near future. Despite this, he believes that only a small portion of these jobs will actually be sent elsewhere.

Pittsburgh Jobs
Philadelphia Jobs

1 comment:

Tim said...

I think that outsourcing has only seen the tip of the iceberg, it may get worse. Anything that can be automated or relies on decision tree style is being pushed overseas. Its not good for people in the USA. I live in New Zealand and thank goodness we have not seen the type of outsourcing you guys experienced for the last decade.