Jobless Rate As High As It Was In The '80s

By Aaron Kase
Add Comment Add Comment | Comments: 1 | Posted Mar. 25, 2010

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In May 1983, the 76ers were on their way to the NBA championship, Wilson Goode and Frank Rizzo were engaged in a tight primary race for mayor, and Philadelphia’s unemployment rate hit 11.5%.

Twenty seven years later, the Sixers now suck but little else has changed: Goode and Rizzo are still prominent names the political landscape, only with “Jr.” affixed to the end. And, more important to those of you reading this from your parents’ couch, unemployment in the city is up to 11.4%, the highest it’s been since those heady days of the early 1980s.

The City Controller’s Office broke the bad news today in its Financial Forecast and Snapshot. Pennsylvania’s overall unemployment is a relatively attractive 8.9%, so if you don’t like being unemployed in Philadelphia, move to Lower Merion. (No, just kidding. We need your wage tax if you ever do get a job. Please don’t go.)

Although tax revenues are up from February 2009, the city still had to lower its sales-tax projections for the year from $207 million to $200 million, and “expressed concern about the ability of the City to meet its FY10 wage tax projec­tions.”

Gulp. So while we’re busy dealing with next year’s budget deficit, we still might have shortfalls to overcome this year.

But all isn’t lost. Apparently, the Conference Board Leading Economic Index is continuing to rise. We don’t know what that means but they tell us “the economy is moving from recovery into the early phases of expansion, and the leading economic index continues to point to moderately improving economic conditions in the near term.”

Great. Let us know when businesses start hiring.

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