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Steelworkers President appointed to Advisory Council

12.18.09

JANUARY 2010, Allentown/Bethlehem/Easton edition of The Union News

Steelworkers President appointed to Advisory Council

BY PAUL TUCKER
THEUNIONNEWSABE@AOL.COM

REGION, December 11th- The United Steelworkers Union (USW) Local 2599 President Jerry Green was appointed on November 24th to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Advisory Council by Pennsylvania House of Representive Keith McCall (Democrat-122nd Legislative District). Mr. McCall is the speaker of the House of Representatives in Harrisburg.

“It is an honor for me to appoint you to this important position. I am certain all of your work will be a positive reflection not only on the Council, but also on the House of Representatives. This appointment was made because I know your qualifications make you well suited for this position,” states Mr. McCall’s November 24th letter to Mr. Green.

Local 2599 represents approximately 1,000 USW members throughout the Lehigh Valley. Mr. Green was first elected to serve as President of Local 2599 in 2000. He is a former employee of Bethlehem Steel and lives in Bethlehem.

“I’m honored to be appointed to this position. I will work hard for the labor community on the Council,” stated Mr. Green.

The Council is made up of eight members, four employee representatives and four employer representatives, plus the Pennsylvania Labor and Industry Secretary.

Also the House of Representatives Speaker, the Senate President Pro Tem and the Minority Party Leaders of the House and Senate each appoint an employee and employer representative to serve on the Council. Each Council member serves two years from the date of the appointment.

When contacted by the newspaper, Mr. McCall stated Mr. Green was appointed to the Council because of his outstanding experience as the USW President and unique legal perspective he brings as a paralegal. “His entire career has been dedicated to protecting the rights of working people, and he will be an outstanding addition to the Council,” said Mr. McCall.

According to Mr. McCall’s office, the Council’s goal is to hold hearings and gather testimony on Workers’ Compensation issues from the public and for interested parties. The data is used to create reliable studies and surveys concerning compensation claims, injury rates, and litigation. The council also submits an annual report to the legislature and in involved in helping make common-sense changes to the state’s labor laws.

Allentown/Bethlehem/Easton Local unemployment rate increases to 9.8 percent

12.18.09

JANUARY 2010, Allentown/Bethlehem/Easton edition of The Union News

Local unemployment rate increases to 9.8 percent

BY PAUL LEESON
THEUNIONNEWSABE@AOL.COM

REGION, December 8th- 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 increased by three-tenths of a percentage point to 9.8 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 6.1 percent.

There are fourteen Metropolitan Statistical Area’s in Pennsylvania and the Allentown/Bethlehem/Easton Metropolitan Statistical Area has the third highest unemployment rate in the Commonwealth. Since December 2007, the unemployment rate for the MSA has increased in twenty of the past twenty-four months.

The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in Pennsylvania is 8.8 percent, unchanged from the previous report, which was released approximately four weeks ago. There are 561,000 Pennsylvania residents without jobs. That number does not include workers who have exhausted their unemployment benefits. Pennsylvania has a seasonally adjusted workforce of 6,340,000 and 5,779,000 of them have employment. The national seasonally adjusted unemployment rate reported is 10.2 percent, increasing by four-tenths of a percentage point from the previous report. There are 15,700,000 residents nationally unemployed. That number also does not include workers who benefits have expired and stopped looking for work.

The data shows the Erie MSA has the highest unemployment rate in the state at 10.1 percent. The Williamsport MSA has the second highest unemployment rate in the state at 9.9 percent.

The State College MSA has the lowest unemployment rate in Pennsylvania at 6.1 percent, with the Lebanon MSA second at 7.4 percent. The Altoona MSA and the Harrisburg/Carlisle MSA are tied for third lowest unemployment rate in Pennsylvania at 7.8 percent.

The Allentown/Bethlehem/Easton MSA has the third largest civilian labor force in Pennsylvania at 416,800, dropping by 2,800 from the previous report and dropping by 4,500 during the past twelve months. There are 40,800 residents in the MSA without jobs, rising by 800 from the previous report and increasing by 14,900 during the past twelve months.

The Philadelphia MSA has the largest civilian labor force in Pennsylvania at 2,948,900 with 267,000 residents not working. The Pittsburgh MSA has the second largest civilian labor force at 1,206,700, with 99,600 residents unemployed. The Harrisburg/Carlisle MSA has the fourth largest civilian labor force in the state at 281,100, with 22,000 residents unemployed. The Scranton/Wilkes-Barre MSA has the fifth largest civilian labor force at 279,100 with 27,000 residents not working.

The Williamsport MSA has the smallest civilian labor force in Pennsylvania at 59,000. The Altoona MSA is the second smallest at 63,200 with the Johnstown MSA the third smallest at 67,700.

Carbon County has the highest unemployment rate in the MSA at 11.2 percent, increasing by three and nine-tenths percentage points from twelve months ago. Northampton County has the lowest unemployment rate in the MSA at 9.6 percent, rising by three and five-tenths percentage points during the past twelve months. Lehigh County has a unemployment rate of 9.9 percent, rising by three and seven-tenths of a percentage points from one year ago.