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LEHIGH VALLEY MSA’s unemployment rate decreases to 5.2 percent

03.02.15

MARCH 2015, LEHIGH VALLEY Edition of The Union News

MSA’s unemployment rate decreases to 5.2 percent

BY PAUL LEESON
THEUNIONNEWSABE@AOL.COM

REGION, February 20th- According to labor data provided by the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry, Center for Workforce Information and Analysis in Harrisburg, the Allentown/Bethlehem/Easton Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) seasonally adjusted unemployment rate is 5.2 percent, decreasing by two-tenths of a percentage point from the previous report which was released approximately four weeks before.

The MSA includes Lehigh, Northampton, and Carbon Counties of Pennsylvania and Warren County, New Jersey. Twelve months ago the unemployment rate for the region was at 7.1 percent.

There are fourteen MSA’s in Pennsylvania and the Allentown/Bethlehem/Easton MSA has the fourth highest unemployment rate.

The Scranton/Wilkes-Barre/Hazleton MSA continues to have the highest unemployment rate in Pennsylvania at 5.9 percent. The Scranton/Wilkes-Barre/Hazleton MSA has had the highest unemployment rate in Pennsylvania more than four and a half consecutive years. The Johnstown MSA has the second highest unemployment rate at 5.7 percent, and the Philadelphia MSA has the third highest at 5.5 percent. The Erie MSA and the Reading MSA are tied for the fifth highest unemployment within Pennsylvania at 4.9 percent.

The State College MSA has the lowest unemployment rate in the state at 3.8 percent. The State College MSA has traditionally had the lowest unemployment within the state, however, the MSA also has one of the smallest workforces with 76,500 civilians.

The Lancaster MSA and the Lebanon MSA are tied for the second lowest unemployment rate at 3.9 percent, while the Harrisburg/Carlisle MSA has the third lowest at 4.2 percent.

The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in Pennsylvania was reported to be at 4.8 percent, dropping by three-tenths of a percentage point from the previous report, while decreasing by two full percentage points from twelve months before.

There are 309,000 Pennsylvania residents without jobs, but that number does not include residents that have exhausted their unemployment benefits and stopped looking for work. Pennsylvania has a seasonally adjusted workforce of 6,367,000 and 6,058,000 of them have employment.

The national seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was reported to be 5.6 percent, decreasing by two-tenths of a percentage point from the previous report. The national unemployment rate was down one and one-tenth of a percentage point from twelve months before, partly because of workers that have exhausted their unemployment benefits. After workers exhaust their unemployment benefits they are no longer counted within the civilian labor-force.

There are 8,688,000 civilians nationwide without employment, but that number also does not include workers that have exhausted their unemployment benefits and stopped looking for work. However, the data indicates that the number of jobless civilians has dropped by more than 1,000,000 during the past six months.

The Allentown/Bethlehem/Easton MSA has the third largest labor force in Pennsylvania with 426,300 civilians, dropping by 400 from the previous report and decreasing by 1,000 during the past twelve months. There are 22,300 civilians without employment within the Allentown/Bethlehem/Easton MSA, dropping by 500 from the month before and decreasing by 8,200 from one year ago.

The Philadelphia MSA has the largest seasonally adjusted labor force in Pennsylvania at 2,974,900 with 163,400 not working; the Pittsburgh MSA has the second largest labor force at 1,241,700 with 57,500 without jobs. The Harrisburg/Carlisle MSA has the fourth largest labor-force in Pennsylvania while the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre MSA is fifth.

Within the MSA, Carbon County has the highest unemployment rate at 5.9 percent, unchanged from the previous report and dropping by two and one-tenth of a percentage point from twelve months before. Carbon County has a civilian labor force of 31,400, the smallest within the MSA, with 1,800 without employment, decreasing by 700 from twelve months ago.

Lehigh County has the lowest unemployment rate within the MSA at 5.2 percent, decreasing by two-tenths of a percentage point from the previous report and dropping by two full percentage points from one year before. Lehigh County has a civilian labor force of 182,900, the most within the MSA, with 9,500 without jobs, decreasing by 3,700 during the past twelve months.

Northampton County has a unemployment rate of 5.4 percent, rising by two-tenths of a percentage point from the previous report and dropping by one and six-tenths of a percentage point from twelve months ago. Northampton County has a civilian labor force of 153,100 with 8,300 jobless, rising by 400 from the previous report and decreasing by 2,400 during the past twelve months.

Northeast Pennsylvania Area Labor Federation continuing Staff Representative search

02.21.15

FEBRUARY 2015, Scranton/Wilkes-Barre/Hazleton Edition of The Union News

Northeast Pennsylvania Area Labor Federation continuing Staff Representative search

BY PAUL TUCKER
THEUNIONNEWSSWB@AOL.COM

REGION, February 5th - The Northeast Pennsylvania Area Labor Federation (NEPA-ALF), O’Neill Highway in Dunmore, a labor federation with approximately seventy-five labor organizations from throughout Northeast Pennsylvania are affiliated, have not yet replaced their previous Staff Representative who resigned in August 2014.

There are six Central Labor Council’s (CLC’s) and one Labor Chapter affiliated with the NEPA-ALF including: the Five-County CLC; the Northern Tied CLC; the Lehigh Valley CLC; the Schuylkill CLC; the Greater Wilkes-Barre CLC; and the Scranton Central Labor Union. The Carbon County Labor Chapter is also affiliated with the NEPA-ALF. The organization is affiliated with the American Federation of Labor and the Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO).

The labor federations are made-up of unions that represent workers employed in Lehigh, Northampton, Schuylkill, Union, Snyder, Montour, Clinton, Bradford, Lycoming, Columbia, Northumberland, Luzerne, Lackawanna, Carbon, Monroe, Pike, Wyoming, Wayne, Sullivan, and Susquehanna Counties of Pennsylvania.

According to Corey Lockard, Chairperson of the NEPA-ALF, the search to replace the former Staff Representative has been on-going for more than three months with several rounds of applicate interviews taking place. However, according to Mr. Lockard, as of press time Febuary 8th, the position has not yet been filled.

The NEPA-ALF Staff Representative is a full-time paid position that is the go-between the labor federation and their affiliated labor organizations. The person meets with elected political officials to better communicate on issues that are important with the labor community. Also, the Staff Representative is there to assist the labor community in organizing campaigns, protests, public at-large events, community projects and overall helps mobilize the labor community.

Mr. Lockard told the newspaper that during the current anti-union political agenda in which the labor community seems to be “under attack” from multiple anti-worker sources, it is in their best self-interest to make sure they are affiliated with the NEPA-ALF and participates at their CLC meetings in their region.

For more information on how a labor organization can join the NEPA-ALF, call area code (570) 343-4958.

The Scranton/Wilkes-Barre MSA’s unemployment rate decreases to 5.9 percent

02.21.15

FEBRUARY 2015, Scranton/Wilkes-Barre/Hazleton Edition of The Union News

MSA’s unemployment rate decreases to 5.9 percent

BY PAUL LEESON
THEUNIONNEWSSWB@AOL.COM

REGION, February 4th- The Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) decreased by one-tenth of a percentage point from the previous month to 5.9 percent. The MSA continues to have the highest unemployment rate among the 14 MSA’s within Pennsylvania but the current unemployment rate is the lowest it has been since May 2008 when it was at 5.8 percent. The MSA has had the highest unemployment rate within Pennsylvania consecutively for more than six and half years.

The last report was released approximately one month before. The Metropolitan Statistical Area includes Luzerne, Lackawanna and Wyoming Counties of Pennsylvania. Twelve months ago the unemployment rate for the region was 8.4 percent.

The biggest reason the MSA’s unemployment has decreased during the past year is because of the decline of the workforce, not because the job market has improved much. The MSA’s civilian labor-force was 278,800 twelve months ago but currently the labor-force is at 274,200. One year ago there were 255,400 civilians employed within the MSA while currently there are 258,000 employed within the civilian workforce.

The unemployment rate in Pennsylvania is 4.8 percent, decreasing by three-tenths of a percentage point from the previous month. Pennsylvania has a seasonally adjusted civilian labor force of 6,367,000 with 309,000 not working. Pennsylvania has 6,058,000 civilians with employment. Pennsylvania’s unemployment rate decreased by two full percentage points over the past twelve month.

Meanwhile, the nation’s unemployment rate was reported to be at 5.6 percent, dropping by two-tenths of a percentage point from the previous report and decreasing by one and one-tenth of a percentage point from twelve months ago.

The Johnstown MSA has the second highest unemployment rate at 5.7 percent, the Philadelphia MSA has the third highest unemployment rate at 5.5 percent while the Allentown/Bethlehem/Easton MSA has the fourth highest unemployment rate in the state at 5.2 percent.

The State College MSA has the lowest unemployment rate in Pennsylvania at 3.8 percent. The Lancaster MSA and the Lebanon MSA are tied for the second lowest at 3.9 percent while the Harrisburg MSA has the third lowest unemployment rate in Pennsylvania at 4.2 percent.

The Scranton/Wilkes-Barre MSA has the fifth largest labor-force in Pennsylvania with 274,200 civilians. There are 16,100 civilians without employment, decreasing by 400 from the previous report. The Philadelphia MSA has the largest labor-force in Pennsylvania at 2,974,900 with 163,400 not working; the Pittsburgh MSA has the second largest labor-force at 1,241,700 with 57,500 without jobs; and the Allentown/Bethlehem/Easton MSA has the third largest labor-force at 426,300 with 22,300 not working.

The Williamsport MSA has the smallest labor-force in Pennsylvania with 63,100 civilians and 3,200 of them have no jobs. The Altoona MSA has the second smallest labor-force with 64,100 civilians with 2,900 without employment and the Johnstown MSA is third with a labor-force of 65,200 and 3,700 of them are not working.

Wyoming County has the lowest unemployment in the MSA at 5.7 percent, increasing by three-tenths of a percentage point from the previous report and dropping by two and four-tenths of a percentage point from twelve months before. Wyoming County has 800 civilians of their work-force without jobs.

Luzerne County has the highest unemployment rate within the MSA at 6.2 percent, unchanged from the previous report and dropping by two and seven-tenths of a percentage point from one year before. Luzerne County has 9,800 civilians without employment.

Lackawanna County’s unemployment rate is 5.9 percent, rising by one-tenth of a percentage point from the previous report. There are 6,200 Lackawanna County residents reported to be unemployed.

Scranton/Wilkes-Barre MSA’s unemployment rate at 6.0 percent, remains highest

02.18.15

JANUARY 2015, Scranton/Wilkes-Barre/Hazleton Edition of The Union News

MSA’s unemployment rate at 6.0 percent, remains highest

BY PAUL LEESON
THEUNIONNEWSSWB@AOL.COM

REGION, January 4th- The Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) decreased by three-tenths of a percentage point to 6.0 percent. The MSA continues to have the highest unemployment rate among the 14 MSA’s within Pennsylvania but according to the recently released data the current unemployment rate is the lowest it has been since June 2008 when it was also at 6.0 percent. The MSA has had the highest unemployment rate within Pennsylvania for more than six consecutive years.

The last report was released approximately one month before. The Metropolitan Statistical Area includes Luzerne, Lackawanna and Wyoming Counties of Pennsylvania. Twelve months ago the unemployment rate for the region was 8.5 percent.

The main reason the MSA’s unemployment has decreased during the past year is because of the decline of the workforce, not because the job market has improved much. The MSA’s civilian labor-force was 279,400 twelve months ago but currently the labor-force is at 273,600. One year ago there were 255,500 civilians employed within the MSA while currently there are 257,100 employed within the civilian workforce.

The unemployment rate in Pennsylvania is 5.1 percent, also decreasing by three-tenths of a percentage point from the previous month. Pennsylvania has a seasonally adjusted civilian labor force of 6,368,000 with 323,000 not working. Pennsylvania has 6,045,000 civilians with employment. Pennsylvania’s unemployment rate decreased by one and eight-tenths of a percentage point over the past twelve month. Meanwhile, the nation’s unemployment rate was reported to be at 5.8 percent, unchanged from the previous report but dropping by one and two-tenths of a percentage point from twelve months ago.

The Johnstown MSA has the second highest unemployment rate at 5.9 percent, the Philadelphia MSA has the third highest unemployment rate at 5.6 percent while the Allentown/Bethlehem/Easton MSA has the fourth highest unemployment rate in the state at 5.3 percent.

The State College MSA has the lowest unemployment rate in Pennsylvania at 3.9 percent. The Lancaster MSA and the Lebanon MSA are tied for the second lowest at 4.1 percent while the Harrisburg MSA has the third lowest unemployment rate in Pennsylvania at 4.2 percent.

The Scranton/Wilkes-Barre MSA has the fifth largest labor-force in Pennsylvania with 273,600 civilians. There are 16,500 civilians without employment, decreasing by 800 from the previous report. The Philadelphia MSA has the largest labor-force in Pennsylvania at 2,973,600 with 167,800 not working; the Pittsburgh MSA has the second largest labor-force at 1,242,000 with 59,200 without jobs; and the Allentown/Bethlehem/Easton MSA has the third largest labor-force at 427,000 with 22,800 not working.

The Williamsport MSA has the smallest labor-force in Pennsylvania with 63,000 civilians and 3,300 of them have no jobs. The Altoona MSA has the second smallest labor-force with 64,100 civilians with 3,000 without employment and the Johnstown MSA is third with a labor-force of 65,300 and 3,800 of them are not working.

Wyoming County has the lowest unemployment in the MSA at 5.4 percent, decreasing by five-tenths of a percentage point from the previous report and dropping by two and two-tenths of a percentage point from twelve months before. Wyoming County has 700 civilians of their work-force without jobs.

Luzerne County has the highest unemployment rate within the MSA at 6.2 percent, rising by one-tenth of a percentage point from the previous report and dropping by two and five-tenths of a percentage point from one year before. Luzerne County has 9,700 civilians without employment.

Lackawanna County’s unemployment rate is 5.8 percent, unchanged from the previous report. There are 6,000 Lackawanna County residents reported to be unemployed.

LEHIGH VALLEY MSA’s unemployed rate decreases to 5.3 percent

01.28.15

FEBRUARY 2015, LEHIGH VALLEY Edition of The Union News

MSA’s unemployed rate decreases to 5.3 percent

BY PAUL LEESON
THEUNIONNEWSABE@AOL.COM

REGION, January 14th- According to labor data provided by the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry, Center for Workforce Information and Analysis in Harrisburg, the Allentown/Bethlehem/Easton Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) seasonally adjusted unemployment rate is 5.3 percent, decreasing by three-tenths of a percentage point from the previous report. The unemployment rate for the MSA is the lowest it has been since May 2008 when it was also at 5.3 percent.

The MSA includes Lehigh, Northampton, and Carbon Counties of Pennsylvania and Warren County, New Jersey. Twelve months ago the unemployment rate for the region was at 7.3 percent.

There are fourteen MSA’s in Pennsylvania and the Allentown/Bethlehem/Easton MSA has the fourth highest unemployment rate.

The Scranton/Wilkes-Barre/Hazleton MSA has the highest unemployment rate in Pennsylvania at 6.0 percent. The Johnstown MSA has the second highest unemployment rate at 5.9 percent, and the Philadelphia MSA has the third highest at 5.6 percent.

The State College MSA has the lowest unemployment rate in the state at 3.9 percent. The Lancaster MSA and the Lebanon MSA are tied for the third lowest at 4.1 percent. The Harrisburg/Carlisle MSA has the fourth lowest unemployment rate at 4.2 percent.

The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in Pennsylvania is 5.1 percent, dropping by three-tenths of a percentage point from the previous report, and decreasing by one and eight-tenths percentage points from twelve months before.

There are 323,000 Pennsylvania residents without jobs and the state has a civilian labor-force of 6,368,000 with 6,045,000 employed.

The national seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was reported to be 5.8 percent, unchanged from the previous report and dropping by one and two-tenths of a percentage point from twelve months before.

Carbon County has the highest unemployment rate in the MSA at 5.9 percent, increasing by one-tenth of a percentage point from the month before. Carbon County has a labor-force of 31,500 civilians with 1,900 unemployed.

Northampton County has the lowest unemployment rate within the MSA at 5.2 percent, rising by one-tenth of a percentage point from the previous report and dropping by two full percentage points from one year before. Northampton County has a labor-force of 153,200 civilians with 7,900 not employed.

Lehigh County has a unemployment rate of 5.3 percent, rising by two-tenths of a percentage point from the previous report. Lehigh County has a labor-force of 183,600 with 9,800 unemployed.

Scranton/Wilkes-Barre MSA’s unemployment rate at 6.0 percent, remains highest

01.15.15

JANUARY 2015, Scranton/Wilkes-Barre/Hazleton Edition of The Union News

MSA’s unemployment rate at 6.0 percent, remains highest

BY PAUL LEESON
THEUNIONNEWSSWB@AOL.COM

REGION, January 4th- The Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) decreased by three-tenths of a percentage point to 6.0 percent. The MSA continues to have the highest unemployment rate among the 14 MSA’s within Pennsylvania but according to the recently released data the current unemployment rate is the lowest it has been since June 2008 when it was also at 6.0 percent. The MSA has had the highest unemployment rate within Pennsylvania for more than six consecutive years.

The last report was released approximately one month before. The Metropolitan Statistical Area includes Luzerne, Lackawanna and Wyoming Counties of Pennsylvania. Twelve months ago the unemployment rate for the region was 8.5 percent.

The main reason the MSA’s unemployment has decreased during the past year is because of the decline of the workforce, not because the job market has improved much. The MSA’s civilian labor-force was 279,400 twelve months ago but currently the labor-force is at 273,600. One year ago there were 255,500 civilians employed within the MSA while currently there are 257,100 employed within the civilian workforce.

The unemployment rate in Pennsylvania is 5.1 percent, also decreasing by three-tenths of a percentage point from the previous month. Pennsylvania has a seasonally adjusted civilian labor force of 6,368,000 with 323,000 not working. Pennsylvania has 6,045,000 civilians with employment. Pennsylvania’s unemployment rate decreased by one and eight-tenths of a percentage point over the past twelve month. Meanwhile, the nation’s unemployment rate was reported to be at 5.8 percent, unchanged from the previous report but dropping by one and two-tenths of a percentage point from twelve months ago.

The Johnstown MSA has the second highest unemployment rate at 5.9 percent, the Philadelphia MSA has the third highest unemployment rate at 5.6 percent while the Allentown/Bethlehem/Easton MSA has the fourth highest unemployment rate in the state at 5.3 percent.

The State College MSA has the lowest unemployment rate in Pennsylvania at 3.9 percent. The Lancaster MSA and the Lebanon MSA are tied for the second lowest at 4.1 percent while the Harrisburg MSA has the third lowest unemployment rate in Pennsylvania at 4.2 percent.

The Scranton/Wilkes-Barre MSA has the fifth largest labor-force in Pennsylvania with 273,600 civilians. There are 16,500 civilians without employment, decreasing by 800 from the previous report. The Philadelphia MSA has the largest labor-force in Pennsylvania at 2,973,600 with 167,800 not working; the Pittsburgh MSA has the second largest labor-force at 1,242,000 with 59,200 without jobs; and the Allentown/Bethlehem/Easton MSA has the third largest labor-force at 427,000 with 22,800 not working.

The Williamsport MSA has the smallest labor-force in Pennsylvania with 63,000 civilians and 3,300 of them have no jobs. The Altoona MSA has the second smallest labor-force with 64,100 civilians with 3,000 without employment and the Johnstown MSA is third with a labor-force of 65,300 and 3,800 of them are not working.

Wyoming County has the lowest unemployment in the MSA at 5.4 percent, decreasing by five-tenths of a percentage point from the previous report and dropping by two and two-tenths of a percentage point from twelve months before. Wyoming County has 700 civilians of their work-force without jobs.

Luzerne County has the highest unemployment rate within the MSA at 6.2 percent, rising by one-tenth of a percentage point from the previous report and dropping by two and five-tenths of a percentage point from one year before. Luzerne County has 9,700 civilians without employment.

Lackawanna County’s unemployment rate is 5.8 percent, unchanged from the previous report. There are 6,000 Lackawanna County residents reported to be unemployed.

APWU defends postal service calling for mail standard delay

12.19.14

DECEMBER 2014, Scranton/Wilkes-Barre/Hazleton Edition of The Union News

APWU defends postal service calling for mail standard delay

BY PAUL TUCKER
THEUNIONNEWSSWB@AOL.COM

REGION, December 2nd- Kevin Gallagher, President of the American Postal Workers Union (APWU) Local 101 in Scranton, is defending the United States Postal Service (USPS) calling the agency the “least costly mail service in the industrial world” and stated the newest plan by the USPS would further degrade and reduce the mail service nationwide.

The labor organizations that represent workers of the USPS distribution center in Scranton have been meeting with federal elected representatives hoping they will support not changing mail delivery standards and moving their processing work to the Lehigh Valley that is currently scheduled for early 2015.

The USPS announced in 2012 it would consolidate 48 mail processing centers throughout the nation including their operations in Scranton to the Lehigh Valley. The USPS stated the plan would save the agency nearly $1.2 billion a year.

The agency first announced it would close about 250 processing centers after their plan is fully implemented.

The USPS and stated around 5,000 workers would be affected by the consolidation. However, no lay-off would occur instead jobs would be “re-bid” under the labor agreements with the USPS and workers is some cases would need to either relocate or travel to other postal service facilities to continue to be employed by the USPS.

The change of delivery standards means that any overnite mail delivery will be done away with and a two-day delivery time will take effect. Under the current plan the Scranton, Lancaster and Erie facilities will be consolidated around January 10th.

The APWU Local 101 represents the majority of the workers that will be effected by the USPS action at the Scranton processing center. However, because of the job bidding requirement under the collective bargaining agreement’s (CBA’s) with the APWU and the other postal unions, including the National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC) Union, some of the APWU members could end-up delivering mail.

The APWU held a “public meeting” on November 14th at the Greenwood Hose Company facility in Moosic in Lackawanna County to inform the public about how changing the delivery standards would effect postal customers.

Mr. Gallagher stated bill payment remittances will take much longer creating cash flow problems, and other payments and invoices will be delayed resulting in extra costs if the delivery standards are implemented.

Scranton/Wilkes-Barre/Hazleton MSA’s unemployment rate drops, but remains highest in state

12.17.14

DECEMBER 2014, Scranton/Wilkes-Barre/Hazleton Edition of The Union News

MSA’s unemployment rate drops, but remains highest in state

BY PAUL LEESON
THEUNIONNEWSSWB@AOL.COM

REGION, December 4th- The Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) continues to have the highest unemployment rate among the 14 MSA’s within Pennsylvania but according to the recently released data the rate has decreased by four-tenths of a percentage point from the previous report. The MSA has had the highest unemployment rate within Pennsylvania for more than six consecutive years.

According to labor data provided by the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry, Center for Workforce Information and Analysis in Harrisburg, the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre MSA, seasonally adjusted unemployment rate is 6.3 percent. The last report was released approximately one month before. The Metropolitan Statistical Area includes Luzerne, Lackawanna and Wyoming Counties of Pennsylvania. Twelve months ago the unemployment rate for the region was 8.7 percent. The current unemployment rate for the MSA is the lowest since August 2008 when it was also at 6.3 percent.

The main reason the MSA’s unemployment has declined during the past year is because of the decline of the workforce, not because the job market has improved. The MSA’s civilian labor-force was 280,000 twelve months ago but currently the labor-force is at 273,600. Also, one year ago there were 255,800 civilians employed within the MSA while currently there are 256,200 employed within the civilian workforce. The main-stream newspaper, reported that the local economy has improved from twelve months ago because the lowering of the MSA’s unemployment rate.

The unemployment rate in Pennsylvania is 5.4 percent, decreasing by three-tenths of a percentage point from the previous month. Pennsylvania has a seasonally adjusted civilian labor force of 6,363,000 with 345,000 not working. Pennsylvania has 6,019,000 civilians with employment. Pennsylvania’s unemployment rate decreased by one and seven-tenths of a percentage point over the past twelve months, mainly because of the decrease of the labor-force due to workers having exhausted their unemployment benefits. Meanwhile, the nation’s unemployment rate was reported to be at 5.8 percent, decreasing by one-tenth of a percentage point from the previous report.

The Johnstown MSA has the second highest unemployment rate at 6.1 percent, the Philadelphia MSA has the third highest unemployment rate at 5.8 percent while the Allentown/Bethlehem/Easton MSA has the fourth highest unemployment rate in the state at 5.6 percent.

The State College MSA has the lowest unemployment rate in Pennsylvania at 4.1 percent. The Lancaster MSA and the Lebanon MSA are tied for the second lowest at 4.3 percent while the Harrisburg MSA has the third lowest unemployment rate in Pennsylvania at 4.4 percent.

The Scranton/Wilkes-Barre MSA has the fifth largest labor-force in Pennsylvania with 273,600 civilians, unchanged from the previous report. There are 17,300 civilians without employment, decreasing by 900 from the previous report. The Philadelphia MSA has the largest labor-force in Pennsylvania at 2,976,500 with 173,800 not working; the Pittsburgh MSA has the second largest labor-force at 1,239,600 with 61,800 without jobs; and the Allentown/Bethlehem/Easton MSA has the third largest labor-force at 427,400 with 23,700 not working.

The Williamsport MSA has the smallest labor-force in Pennsylvania with 62,800 civilians and 3,400 of them have no jobs. The Altoona MSA has the second smallest labor-force with 63,900 civilians with 3,100 without employment and the Johnstown MSA is third with a labor-force of 65,300 and 4,000 of them are not working.

Lackawanna County has the lowest unemployment rate within the MSA at 5.7 percent, dropping by four-tenths of a percentage point from the previous report.

Luzerne County has the highest unemployment rate within the MSA at 6.1 percent, dropping by seven-tenths of a percentage point from the previous report. Wyoming County’s unemployment rate is 5.9 percent.

Building trades supported Keystone XL pipeline bill defeated

12.03.14

DECEMBER 2014, LEHIGH VALLEY Edition of The Union News

Building trades supported Keystone XL pipeline bill defeated

BY PAUL TUCKER
THEUNIONNEWSABE@AOL.COM

REGION, November 19th- The United States Senate recently narrowly defeated legislation that would have approved the building trades supported Keystone XL pipeline. The legislation needed 60 votes for approval and it received only 59. Most Democrats voted against the bill while all 45 Republicans voted in favor.

President Obama has not supported the XL Keystone pipeline construction, which the administration has reviewed for six years.

In the spring President Obama extended the decision of whether to construct the pipeline project, that would carry oil from Canada throughout the heart of the nation’s midwest to refineries in Texas.

The Building and Construction Trades unions support the construction because most of the work will be done with their members. The pipeline will be mostly built with federal money which would put the project under the Davis-Bacon law, meaning union wages would be paid to the construction workers.

While construction unions and pro-oil business leaders support the development of the pipeline, most environmental groups and reachers in the region oppose it.

The proposed pipeline would be 1,179 miles long, 329 miles in Canada, and 850 miles in the United States. The pipeline would cross the United States border in Montana and travel through the midwest to Texas. It will be 36 inches in diameter with a total daily oil capacity of 830,000 barrels of oil. The lower portion of the pipeline has already been built and transports oil from Oklahoma to Texas.

Republicans plan to bring the pipeline construction up for a another vote in January after they take control of the Senate. The party won enough seats in the November election to gain control.

Lehigh Valley’s unemployment rate at 5.8 percent

12.03.14

DECEMBER 2014, LEHIGH VALLEY Edition of The Union News

Lehigh Valley’s unemployment rate at 5.8 percent

BY PAUL LEESON
THEUNIONNEWSABE@AOL.COM

REGION, November 22nd- According to labor data provided by the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry, Center for Workforce Information and Analysis in Harrisburg, the Allentown/Bethlehem/Easton Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) seasonally adjusted unemployment rate is 5.8 percent, decreasing by one-tenth of a percentage point the previous report. The unemployment rate for the MSA is the lowest it has been since August 2008 when it was 5.7 percent.

The MSA includes Lehigh, Northampton, and Carbon Counties of Pennsylvania and Warren County, New Jersey. Twelve months ago the unemployment rate for the region was at 7.5 percent. There are fourteen MSA’s in Pennsylvania and the Allentown/Bethlehem/Easton MSA has the fourth highest unemployment rate.

The Scranton/Wilkes-Barre/Hazleton MSA continues to have the highest unemployment rate in Pennsylvania at 6.7 percent. The Johnstown MSA has the second highest unemployment rate at 6.4 percent, and the Philadelphia MSA has the third highest at 6.0 percent.

The State College MSA has the lowest unemployment rate in the state at 4.2 percent. The Lancaster MSA and the Lebanon MSA are tied for the third lowest at 4.5 percent. The Harrisburg/Carlisle MSA has the fourth lowest unemployment rate at 4.7 percent.

Lehigh County has the lowest unemployment rate within the MSA at 5.4 percent, dropping by seven-tenths of a percentage point from the previous report. There are 9,800 civilians of a 183,000 workforce in Lehigh County without jobs.

Carbon County has the highest unemployment rate in MSA at 6.2 percent, decreasing by nine-tenths of a percentage point from the previous report. The labor-force of Carbon County is 31,500 with 1,900 jobless.

Northampton County has a unemployment rate of 5.5 percent, dropping by seven-tenths of a percentage point from the previous report. Northampton County has a 153,800 civilian labor-force and 8,500 of them are unemployed.

Scranton/Wilkes-Barre/Hazleton MSA’s unemployment rate drops, but remains highest in state

12.02.14

NOVEMBER 2014, Scranton/Wilkes-Barre/Hazleton Edition of The Union News


MSA’s unemployment rate drops, but remains highest in state

BY PAUL LEESON
THEUNIONNEWSSWB@AOL.COM

REGION, November 1st- The Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) continues to have the highest unemployment rate among the 14 MSA’s within Pennsylvania and according to the recently released data but the rate has decreased by one-tenth of a percentage point from the previous report. The MSA has had the highest unemployment rate within Pennsylvania for nearly six consecutive years.

According to labor data provided by the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry, Center for Workforce Information and Analysis in Harrisburg, the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre MSA, seasonally adjusted unemployment rate is 6.7 percent. The last report was released approximately one month before. The Metropolitan Statistical Area includes Luzerne, Lackawanna and Wyoming Counties of Pennsylvania. Twelve months ago the unemployment rate for the region was 8.8 percent. The current unemployment rate for the MSA is the lowest since October 2008 when it was also at 6.7 percent.

The main reason the MSA’s unemployment has declined during the past year is because of the decline of the workforce, not because the job market has improved. The MSA’s civilian labor-force is 7,400 lower than twelve months ago. Also, one year ago there were 256,200 civilians employed within the MSA while currently there are 255,300 employed within the civilian workforce.

The unemployment rate in Pennsylvania is 5.7 percent, also decreasing by one-tenth of a percentage point from the previous month. Pennsylvania has a seasonally adjusted civilian labor force of 6,347,000 with 360,000 not working, dropping by 7,000 from the previous report. Pennsylvania has 5,987,000 civilians with employment. Pennsylvania’s unemployment rate decreased by one and six-tenths of a percentage point over the past twelve months, mainly because of the decrease of the labor-force due to workers having exhausted their unemployment benefits.

Meanwhile, the nation’s unemployment rate was reported to be at 5.9 percent, decreasing by two-tenth of a percentage point from the previous report.

The Johnstown MSA has the second highest unemployment rate at 6.4 percent, the Philadelphia MSA has the third highest unemployment rate at 6.0 percent while the Allentown/Bethlehem/Easton MSA has the fourth highest unemployment rate in the state at 5.8 percent.

The State College MSA has the lowest unemployment rate in Pennsylvania at 4.2 percent. The Lancaster MSA and the Lebanon MSA are tied for the second lowest at 4.5 percent while the Harrisburg MSA has the third lowest unemployment rate in Pennsylvania at 4.7 percent.

The Scranton/Wilkes-Barre MSA has the fifth largest labor-force in Pennsylvania with 273,500 civilians, dropping by 600 from the previous report. There are 18,200 civilians without employment, decreasing by 500 from the previous report. The Philadelphia MSA has the largest labor-force in Pennsylvania at 2,975,500 with 177,800 not working; the Pittsburgh MSA has the second largest labor-force at 1,235,900 with 64,400 without jobs; and the Allentown/Bethlehem/Easton MSA has the third largest labor-force at 426,300 with 24,800 not working.

The Williamsport MSA has the smallest labor-force in Pennsylvania with 62,700 civilians and 3,500 of them have no jobs. The Altoona MSA has the second smallest labor-force with 63,700 civilians with 3,200 without employment and the Johnstown MSA is third with a labor-force of 65,300 and 4,200 of them are not working.

Lackawanna County has the lowest unemployment rate within the MSA at 6.1 percent, dropping by seven-tenths of a percentage point from the previous report. Lackawanna County has a civilian labor force of 103,600, with 6,300 jobless.

Luzerne County has the highest unemployment rate within the MSA at 6.7 percent. Luzerne County has a labor force of 155,400 with 10,400 jobless. Wyoming County’s unemployment rate is 6.5 percent.

LEHIGH VALLEY MSA’s unemployment rate remains at 5.9 percent

12.02.14

NOVEMBER 2014, LEHIGH VALLEY Edition of The Union News

MSA’s unemployment rate remains at 5.9 percent

BY PAUL LEESON
THEUNIONNEWSABE@AOL.COM

REGION, October 11th- According to labor data provided by the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry, Center for Workforce Information and Analysis in Harrisburg, the Allentown/Bethlehem/Easton Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) seasonally adjusted unemployment rate is 5.9 percent, unchanged from the previous two reports. The unemployment rate for the MSA is the lowest it has been since September 2008 when it was also 5.9 percent.

The MSA includes Lehigh, Northampton, and Carbon Counties of Pennsylvania and Warren County, New Jersey. Twelve months ago the unemployment rate for the region was at 7.6 percent. There are fourteen MSA’s in Pennsylvania and the Allentown/Bethlehem/Easton MSA has the fourth highest unemployment rate.

The Scranton/Wilkes-Barre/Hazleton MSA continues to have the highest unemployment rate in Pennsylvania at 6.8 percent. The Scranton/Wilkes-Barre/Hazleton MSA has had the highest unemployment rate in Pennsylvania for almost five consecutive years. The Johnstown MSA has the second highest unemployment rate at 6.5 percent, and the Philadelphia MSA has the third highest at 6.0 percent.

The State College MSA has the lowest unemployment rate in the state at 4.2 percent. The Lancaster MSA has the second lowest at 4.6 percent while the Lebanon MSA is third at 4.7 percent. The Harrisburg/Carlisle MSA has the fourth lowest unemployment rate at 4.8 percent.

The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in Pennsylvania is 5.8 percent, rising by one-tenth of a percentage point from the previous report, and decreasing by one and six-tenths percentage points from twelve months before.

There are 367,000 Pennsylvania residents without jobs, but that number does not include residents that have exhausted their unemployment benefits and stopped looking for work. Pennsylvania has a seasonally adjusted workforce of 6,344,000 and 5,976,000 of them have employment.

The national seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was reported to be 6.1 percent, dropping by one-tenth of a percentage point from the previous report. The national unemployment rate was down one and one-tenth of a percentage point from twelve months before.

Carbon County has the highest unemployment rate in the MSA at 7.1 percent, increasing by two-tenths of a percentage point from the month before.

Lehigh County has the lowest unemployment rate within the MSA at 6.1 percent, increasing by three-tenths of a percentage point from the previous report. Northampton County has a unemployment rate of 6.2 percent, rising by two-tenths of a percentage point from the previous report.

Scranton/Wilkes-Barre/Hazleton MSA’s remains the highest within Pennsylvania at 6.8 percent

12.02.14

OCTOBER 2014, Scranton/Wilkes-Barre/Hazleton Edition of The Union News

MSA’s remains the highest within Pennsylvania at 6.8 percent

BY PAUL LEESON
THEUNIONNEWSSWB@AOL.COM

REGION, October 1st- The Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) continues to have the highest unemployment rate among the 14 MSA’s within Pennsylvania and according to the recently released data the rate is unchanged from the previous report. Prior to this report the MSA’s unemployment rate decreased for the thirteenth consecutive month. The MSA has had the highest unemployment rate within Pennsylvania for nearly six consecutive years.

According to labor data provided by the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry, Center for Workforce Information and Analysis in Harrisburg, the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre MSA, seasonally adjusted unemployment rate is 6.8 percent. The last report was released approximately one month before. The Metropolitan Statistical Area includes Luzerne, Lackawanna and Wyoming Counties of Pennsylvania. Twelve months ago the unemployment rate for the region was 8.9 percent. The current unemployment rate for the MSA is the lowest since October 2008 when it was 6.7 percent.

The main reason the MSA’s unemployment has declined during the past year is because of the decline of the workforce, not because the job market has improved. The MSA’s civilian labor-force is 7,800 lower than twelve months ago. Also, one year ago there were 256,700 civilians employed within the MSA while currently there are 255,200 employed within the civilian workforce.

The unemployment rate in Pennsylvania is 5.8 percent, rising by one-tenth of a percentage point from the previous month. Pennsylvania has a seasonally adjusted civilian labor force of 6,344,000 with 367,000 not working and 5,976,000 with employment. Pennsylvania’s unemployment rate decreased by one and six-tenths of a percentage point over the past twelve months, mainly because of the decrease of the labor-force due to workers having exhausted their unemployment benefits. Meanwhile, the nation’s unemployment rate was reported to be at 6.1 percent, decreasing by one-tenth of a percentage point from the previous report.

The Johnstown MSA has the second highest unemployment rate at 6.5 percent, the Philadelphia MSA has the third highest unemployment rate at 6.0 percent while the Erie MSA and the Allentown/Bethlehem/Easton MSA are tied for the fourth highest at 5.9 percent.

The State College MSA has the lowest unemployment rate in Pennsylvania at 4.2 percent. The Lancaster MSA has the second lowest at 4.6 percent while the Lebanon MSA has the third lowest at 4.7 percent. The Harrisburg MSA has the fourth lowest unemployment rate in Pennsylvania at 4.8 percent.

The Scranton/Wilkes-Barre MSA has the fifth largest labor-force in Pennsylvania with 274,000 civilians, dropping by 500 from the previous report and decreasing by 7,800 during the past twelve months. There are 18,700 civilians without employment, unchanged from the previous report. The Philadelphia MSA has the largest labor-force in Pennsylvania at 2,977,000 with 180,100 not working; the Pittsburgh MSA has the second largest labor-force at 1,235,600 with 65,600 without jobs; and the Allentown/Bethlehem/Easton MSA has the third largest labor-force at 426,800 with 25,400 not working.

The Williamsport MSA has the smallest labor-force in Pennsylvania with 62,600 civilians and 3,600 of them have no jobs. The Altoona MSA has the second smallest labor-force with 63,700 civilians with 3,300 without employment and the Johnstown MSA is third with a labor-force of 65,600 and 4,300 of them are not working.

Lackawanna County has the lowest unemployment rate within the MSA at 6.8 percent, unchanged from the previous report. Lackawanna County has a civilian labor force of 104,300, with 7,100 jobless.

Luzerne County has the highest unemployment rate within the MSA at 7.3 percent. Luzerne County has a labor force of 156,300 with 11,400 jobless. Wyoming County’s unemployment rate is 7.0 percent.

Scranton/Wilkes-Barre/Hazleton MSA’s unemployment rate at 6.8 percent, still highest in state

09.22.14

SEPTEMBER 2014, Scranton/Wilkes-Barre/Hazleton Edition of The Union News

MSA’s unemployment rate at 6.8 percent, still highest in state

BY PAUL LEESON
THEUNIONNEWSSWB@AOL.COM

REGION, August 30th- The Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) continues to have the highest unemployment rate among the 14 MSA’s within Pennsylvania however, the rate declined by one-tenth of a percentage point from the previous report. The MSA has had the highest unemployment rate within Pennsylvania for more than five consecutive years.

According to labor data provided by the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry, Center for Workforce Information and Analysis in Harrisburg, the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre MSA, seasonally adjusted unemployment rate is 6.8 percent. The last report was released approximately one month before. The Metropolitan Statistical Area includes Luzerne, Lackawanna and Wyoming Counties of Pennsylvania. Twelve months ago the unemployment rate for the region was 9.0 percent. The current unemployment rate for the MSA is the lowest since October 2008 when it was 6.7 percent.

The main reason the MSA’s unemployment is lower is because of the decline of the workforce, not because the job market has improved. The MSA’s civilian labor-force is 1,100 less than it was in the previous report and 7,800 lower than twelve months ago. One year ago there were 257,200 civilians employed within the MSA while currently there are 255,900 employed within the civilian workforce.

The unemployment rate in Pennsylvania is 5.7 percent, rising by one-tenth of a percentage point from the previous month. Pennsylvania has a seasonally adjusted civilian labor force of 6,371,000 with 361,000 not working and 6,011,000 with employment. Pennsylvania’s unemployment rate decreased by one and eight-tenths of a percentage point over the past twelve months, mainly because of the decrease of the labor-force due to workers having exhausted their unemployment benefits.

Meanwhile, the nation’s unemployment rate was reported to be at 6.2 percent, also increasing by one-tenth of a percentage point from the previous report.

The Johnstown MSA has the second highest unemployment rate at 6.5 percent, the Philadelphia MSA and the Erie MSA are tied for the third highest unemployment rate at 6.0 percentwhile the Allentown/Bethlehem/Easton MSA has the fourth highest at 5.9 percent.

The State College MSA has the lowest unemployment rate in Pennsylvania at 4.1 percent. The Lancaster MSA and the Lebanon are tied for the second lowest at 4.6 percent while the Harrisburg MSA has the third lowest unemployment rate in Pennsylvania at 4.8 percent.

The Scranton/Wilkes-Barre MSA has the fifth largest labor-force in Pennsylvania with 274,500 civilians, dropping by 1,100 from the previous report. There are 18,600 civilians without employment, 400 fewer than the previous report. The Philadelphia MSA has the largest labor-force in Pennsylvania at 2,977,700 with 178,400 not working; the Pittsburgh MSA has the second largest labor-force at 1,173,400 with 65,400 without jobs; and the Allentown/Bethlehem/Easton MSA has the third largest labor-force at 427,400 with 25,100 not working.

The Williamsport MSA has the smallest labor-force in Pennsylvania with 62,800 civilians and 3,500 of them have no jobs. The Altoona MSA has the second smallest labor-force with 63,900 civilians with 3,200 without employment and the Johnstown MSA is third with a labor-force of 65,700 and 4,300 of them are not working.

Lackawanna County has the lowest unemployment rate within the MSA at 6.8 percent, increasing by five-tenths of a percentage point from the previous report and dropping by one and eight-tenths percentage points from one year ago. Lackawanna County has a civilian labor force of 104,300, with 7,100 jobless.

Luzerne County and Wyoming County have the same unemployment rate at 7.0 percent.

Luzerne County’s unemployment rate rose by one-tenth of a percentage point from the previous report and dropped by two and two-tenths percentage points from one year ago. Luzerne County has a civilian labor force of 155,900, with 10,900 civilians not employed.

Wyoming County has a labor-force of 13,800 with 1,000 jobless.

General Dynamics scheduled to lay-off workers in Scranton

09.22.14

SEPTEMBER 2014, Scranton/Wilkes-Barre/Hazleton Edition of The Union News

General Dynamics scheduled to lay-off workers in Scranton

BY PAUL TUCKER
THEUNIONNEWSSWB@AOL.COM

REGION, September 2nd- Lay-offs at the General Dynamics Ordnance and Tactical Systems plant on Cedar Avenue in South Scranton is mounting after the company notified their employees and the Department of Labor (DOL) that an additional fifty-five workers are anticipated to be laid-off starting in November.

The International Association of Machinists (IAM) Union Local Lodge 847 represents plant workers at the facility.

The plant mostly produces military projectiles for the United States Department of Defense including the Army and Navy.

However, because of the military decreases in Iraq and Afghanistan, the military has cut-spending on supplies causing a slow-down within the military suppling industry.

According to the IAM, approximately 25 percent of the work within the plant is non-military contract work.

Elbows for the natural gas industry have also been manufactured at the plant. That industry also has cut-back during 2014.

On September 4th, the DOL was notified that the additional fifty-five workers are expected to begin to be laid-off, without a known recall date, starting in November and running through December. The lay-offs will impact workers with a minimum of 12 to 14 years of seniority.

After those lay-offs are complete, approximately 95 Local Lodge 847 represented employees will be working in the plant, down from around 150 only eight-teen months ago. The overall plant employment will be down to 145 counting management from more than 200 more than a year ago.

Joe Cron, a IAM Local Lodge 847 delegate to the Scranton Central Labor Union (SCLU) labor federation, stated the facility produces 5 inch 54 caliber shell bodies for the United States Navy and a 105 millimeter artillery shell.

Mr. Cron stated that the company had received assurances from the Army that a shell body for them is expected to become available in early 2015. However, the work is not guaranteed unless there are funds allocated for the shells.

The IAM collective bargaining agreement with General Dynamics expires at the end of the year.

Report states increasing minimum wage would help economy

09.01.14

SEPTEMBER 2014, LEHIGH VALLEY Edition of The Union News

Report states increasing minimum wage would help economy

BY PAUL LEESON
THEUNIONNEWSABE@AOL.COM

REGION, August 20th- The American Federation of Labor and the Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) labor federation in Washington DC, requested in May that all affiliated labor councils throughout the nation conduct events in their community this summer to push for the raising of the federation minimum wage. The federation announced in the spring that it supported increasing the bench-mark to $10.10 an hour, which President Obama had proposed in his “state-of-the-union” address earlier this year.

The current minimum wage, which covers most workers employed within many industries excluding some retail and service establishments and farms and also employ students at wages of no more than 15 percent below the minimum with proper certification, is $7.25. The federal minimum wage has not been raised since 2009.

The AFL-CIO has been lobbying Washington legislators and organizing rallies supporting the raising of the federal minimum wage under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSAct).

Many states have increased their minimum wage above the federal bench-mark including New Jersey, Maryland and New York. However, anti-worker Pennsylvania Republican Governor Tom Corbett has made it clear he does not support increasing the wage. He has been lobbying fellow Republicans to not support the increase of the hourly wage, stating the higher wage would harm Pennsylvania’s economy.

There are 19 state’s and the District of Columbia that have a higher minimum wage than the federal standard. New Jersey’s minimum wage increased in January to $8.25 an hour.

Meanwhile, according to data released by the Department of Labor on July 18th, job growth in the 13 states that have increased their minimum wage has been more robust than states that have not. Average job growth in states that have increased the benchmark was 0.85 percent this year while in states that have not increase their wage was 0.61 percent.

The anti-increasing of the minimum wage supporters in Washington, mostly made-up of Republicans and business groups, have stated that according to a new study the American economy would be hurt by increasing the bench-mark and as many as 500,000 jobs could be lost should the wage be increased to $10.10 an hour.

However, the same report suggest that more than 16.5 million American workers wages would be increased, producing an overwhelmingly positive impact for the economy by giving those workers more money to spend on their families and themselves, increasing their purchasing ability which would benefit local and the national economies.

Consolidation of mail sorting centers facing opposition

09.01.14

SEPTEMBER 2014, LEHIGH VALLEY Edition of The Union News

Consolidation of mail sorting centers facing opposition

BY PAUL TUCKER
THEUNIONNEWSABE@AOL.COM

REGION, August 17th- The labor organizations that represent workers employed at the United States Postal Service (USPS) 82 mail-sorting processing centers throughout the nation that the agency plans to close in 2015, hope that an effort in Washington DC by Congress will at least delay the action for one year.

The USPS announced in 2012 it would consolidate 48 mail processing center throughout the nation including their Scranton, Lackawanna County facility, which the operation would be moved to the Lehigh Valley facility. The plan according to the agency would save nearly $1.2 billion a year.

The USPS first announced it would close around 250 processing centers with around 5,000 workers being affected by the consolidation. The plan was to consolidate 92 mail processing centers in February 2013, and 89 more in 2014, including the Scranton facility. However, in November 2013 the agency suspended closing any more centers that were slated for closure or merging including the moving of the Lackawanna County facility to the Lehigh Valley.

But, on August 1st, the USPS changed their minds yet again and filed notice that it would change delivery standards effective January 5th, 2015, and it would consolidate the facility with the Lehigh Valley operation.

After the USPS announced their latest plan to go forward with the consolidation of the mail processing centers, fifty United States Senators from both political parties joined forces to try to stop the agency for one year from closing the 82 mail sorting facilities. There were fourty-four Democrats, seven Republicans and one Independent senators that requested the Senate Appropriations Committee to ban the cuts for one year. The senators then recessed for the summer break.

The American Postal Workers Union (APWU), which along with the National Association of Letter Carriers Union (NALC), represents the majority of the USPS employees. APWU members would be the most effected by the consolidation of the mail sorting centers.

Local 268 represents the APWU workers in the Lehigh Valley while the workers in Scranton are represented by Local 101.

Should the Scranton facility be consolidated the APWU members will need to travel to the region to continue to be employed by the USPS.

IUPAT members not yet hired for U of S construction project

08.28.14

AUGUST 2014, Scranton/Wilkes-Barre/Hazleton Edition of The Union News

IUPAT members not yet hired for U of S construction project

BY PAUL TUCKER
THEUNIONNEWSSWB@AOL.COM

REGION, August 1st- The International Union of Painters and Allied Trades (IUPAT) District Council 21 in Drums, which represents unionized painters and drywall workers employed within the construction industry throughout Northeastern Pennsylvania, have yet to be hired for the University of Scranton $47 million eight-story rehabiliation building on Jefferson Avenue in Scranton.

The university is building the rehabilitation center across the alley from the Adlin Building where the Scranton YWCA was located.

The university hired nonunion workers for renovations that were done on the upper floors of the Adlin Building, which houses several businesses on the ground floor.

Members of IUPAT Local 218, which is affiliated with District Council 21, protested in May because they were not hired for the renovations of the Adlin Building.

The protest included a ten foot high inflatable rat which is owned by the Scranton Building and Construction Trades Council.

In a newspaper article published in the Scranton Times/Tribune newspaper regarding the protest of the hiring of nonunion construction workers, an unknown source representing the University of Scranton, stated members of IUPAT would be hired for the rehabiliation center construction.

However, when contacted on August 1st, Mr. Gatto stated a signatory contractor of his union has not yet been hired for that project.

Phone calls to the University of Scranton seeking comment about this story were not returned.

Mr. Gatto stated his members will likely return to protest by late August if they are not hired for the project.

Scranton/Wilkes-Barre/Hazleton MSA’s unemployment rate decreases to 6.9 percent

08.23.14

AUGUST 2014, Scranton/Wilkes-Barre/Hazleton Edition of The Union News


MSA’s unemployment rate decreases to 6.9 percent

BY PAUL LEESON
THEUNIONNEWSSWB@AOL.COM

REGION, August 2nd- The Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) continues to have the highest unemployment rate among the 14 MSA’s within Pennsylvania, but the rate dropped by three-tenths of a percentage point from the previous report. The MSA has had the highest unemployment rate within Pennsylvania for five consecutive years.

According to labor data provided by the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry, Center for Workforce Information and Analysis in Harrisburg, the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre MSA, seasonally adjusted unemployment rate is 6.9 percent. The last report was released approximately one month before. The Metropolitan Statistical Area includes Luzerne, Lackawanna and Wyoming Counties of Pennsylvania. Twelve months ago the unemployment rate for the region was 9.1 percent. The unemployment rate for the MSA has dropped for the twelfth consecutive month.

The main reason the MSA’s unemployment is lower is because of the decline of the workforce, not because the job market has improved. The MSA’s civilian labor-force is 7,700 less than it was twelve months ago. Nearly the same amount of civilians are working that were twelve months ago. One year ago there were 257,700 civilians employed within the MSA. Currently, there are 256,700 employed within the civilian workforce.

The unemployment rate in Pennsylvania is 5.6 percent, unchanged from the previous month. Pennsylvania has a seasonally adjusted civilian labor force of 6,403,000 with 357,000 not working and 6,046,000 with employment. Pennsylvania’s unemployment rate decreased by one and nine-tenths of a percentage point over the past twelve months, also because of the decrease of the labor-force due to workers having exhausted their unemployment benefits. Meanwhile, the nation’s unemployment rate was reported to be at 6.1 percent, dropping by two-tenths of a percentage point from the previous report.

The Johnstown MSA has the second highest unemployment rate at 6.6 percent, the Philadelphia MSA has the third highest unemployment rate at 6.1 percent and the Erie MSA is fourth at 5.9 percent.

The State College MSA has the lowest unemployment rate in Pennsylvania at 4.1 percent. The Lancaster MSA has the second lowest unemployment rate at 4.5 percent while the Lebanon MSA has the third lowest unemployment rate in Pennsylvania at 4.6 percent.

The Scranton/Wilkes-Barre MSA has the fifth largest labor-force in Pennsylvania with 275,700 civilians, dropping by 500 from the previous report. There are 19,000 civilians without employment. The Philadelphia MSA has the largest labor-force in Pennsylvania at 2,980,000 with 180,700 not working; the Pittsburgh MSA has the second largest labor-force at 1,243,400 with 66,300 without jobs; and the Allentown/Bethlehem/Easton MSA has the third largest labor-force at 427,900 with 25,300 not working.

The Williamsport MSA has the smallest labor-force in Pennsylvania with 62,900 civilians and 3,600 of them have no jobs. The Altoona MSA has the second smallest labor-force with 64,000 civilians with 3,300 without employment and the Johnstown MSA is third with a labor-force of 65,600 and 4,300 of them are not working.

Lackawanna County has the lowest unemployment rate within the MSA at 6.3 percent, decreasing by five-tenths of a percentage point from the previous report and dropping by two and five-tenths percentage points from one year ago. Lackawanna County has a civilian labor force of 104,400, with 6,600 jobless.

Luzerne County has the highest unemployment rate at 6.9 percent, decreasing by five-tenths of a percentage point from the previous report. Luzerne County has a civilian labor force of 156,500, the largest within the MSA, with 10,700 civilians not employed, the most within the Metropolitan Statistical Area.

The unemployment rate in Wyoming County is 6.6 percent, dropping by five-tenths of a percentage point from the previous report. Wyoming County has a civilian labor-force of 13,900, with 900 jobless.

Overall transportation, warehousing and utilities jobs along with leisure and hospitality employment, set new recond highs for the region.

Pennsylvania AFL-CIO joins national federation and APWU on boycott of Staples stores

08.23.14

AUGUST 2014, Scranton/Wilkes-Barre/Hazleton Edition of The Union News

Pennsylvania AFL-CIO joins national federation and APWU on boycott of Staples stores

BY PAUL TUCKER
THEUNIONNEWSSWB@AOL.COM

REGION, August 1st- The Pennsylvania American Federation of Labor and the Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) in Harrisburg announced the labor federation has endorsed the boycott of Staples office supply stores.

In June the American Postal Workers Union (APWU), the American Federation of Labor and the Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) labor federation in Washington DC, announced a boycott of all Staples Inc. stores throughout the nation.

The APWU is boycotting all Staples office supply stores in the United States, Staples.com and Staples Advantage. The boycott also covers all Staples branded proprietary products.

In 2013 the United States Postal Service (USPS) entered into an agreement with Staples to establish a ‘pilot program’ that placed knock-off ‘post offices’ in 82 Staples stores nationwide. The APWU stated the office supplier chain was utilizing nonunion, low-paid Staples employees instead of unionized, and well-trained USPS employees.

The APWU has filed labor complaints with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) because the USPS will not provide information about the contract with Staples.

The APWU, which represents mail processing employees of the USPS throughout the nation, began a campaign against Staples Inc. stores and held a ‘national day of action’ in May by protesting at the retailers stores throughout the nation and in Pennsylvania because some of the Staples stores of the chain now provides the postal services.

The action was conducted in 27 states including a store in Easton, which was protested by members of Local 268, which represents APWU members throughout the Lehigh Valley. The Easton location is the nearest Staples store that the newspaper is aware of that currently provides postal service work. According to Local 268 President Bernie Ogozalek, the pilot program with the USPS will hurt his members by providing postal services that are now done by APWU members.

On July 21st, the Pennsylvania AFL-CIO, which approximately 800,000 union members from throughout the state are affiliated through their local labor organizations, endorsed the Staples boycott.

“We are asking our members, friends, family members and colleagues to take their business elsewhere,” stated Richard Bloomingdale, President of the Pennsylvania AFL-CIO.

The USPS Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe suggested that the partnership between the postal service and Staples will not result in job losses at the USPS, but will grow the business. However, the APWU is finding that hard to believe.

According the the APWU International Union office, the USPS and Staples are attempting to incorporate postal revenues into Staples Inc. stores, not expand the business.

The APWU fears that if the new pilot agreement between the USPS and Staples is considered successful it may be expanded to the retailers other 1,600 stores and other retailers may follow, resulting in job losses for their members, therefore the reason for the boycott.

The AFL-CIO stated the labor federation along with the APWU will work together in developing methods to convince Staples to withdraw from the partnership with the USPS.

The Pennsylvania AFL-CIO stated that since the deal with Staples was announced, the USPS has reduced the hours of service in more than two dozen San Francisco area post offices, all of which are near a Staples store with a postal counter.

“It is apparent that more cuts in postal services are planned, along with the eventual closing of U.S. Post Offices,” added Mr. Bloomingdale.

Meanwhile, the APWU wonders why the USPS would enter into an agreement with a company like Staples that announced in March it would close fifteen percent fo their stores this year, putting the health of the retailer in question.

“Staples itself is experiencing a decline in sales and has plans to close at least 225 stores by the end of 2015. we are concerned that in pursuing its arrangement with Staples, the USPS will leave many customers without access to any nearby Post Office,” added Mr. Bloomingdale.

The APWU and the National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC) Union represents the majority of the USPS workers. The two labor organizations have a combined membership of around 390,000 workers.