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Scranton/Wilkes-Barre/Hazleton MSA’s unemployment rate increases to 9.3 percent

08.15.12

AUGUST 2012 Scranton/Wilkes-Barre/Hazleton edition of The Union News

MSA’s unemployment rate increases to 9.3 percent

BY PAUL LEESON
THEUNIONNEWSSWB@AOL.COM

REGION, July 30th- According to labor data provided by the Pennsylvania, Department of Labor and Industry, the region’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate is 9.3 percent, an increase of six-tenths of a percentage point from the previous report, which was released approximately four weeks before. The Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) includes Lackawanna, Luzerne and Wyoming Counties of Pennsylvania. Twelve months ago the unemployment rate for the region was 9.4 percent.

The unemployment rate in Pennsylvania is 7.5 percent, rising by one-tenth of a percentage point from the previous report. Pennsylvania has a seasonally adjusted civilian labor force of 6,469,000 with 488,000 not working and 5,981,000 with employment. The national unemployment rate is 8.2 percent, unchanged from the previous report. The national unemployment rate has decreased by nine-tenths of a percentage point from twelve months ago. The unemployment rate does not include civilians who unemployment benefits have expired and stopped looking for work.

There are 12,749,000 civilians in the nation reported to be unemployed. That number also does not include civilians that have exhausted their unemployment benefits and have stopped looking for work. During the past several weeks more than 190,000 long-timed jobless workers have exhausted their unemployment benefits and are no longer counted as unemployed.

The Scranton/Wilkes-Barre MSA continues to have the highest unemployment rate among the 14 MSA’s within Pennsylvania.

The Johnstown MSA has the second highest unemployment rate in the commonwealth at 8.9 percent with the Philadelphia MSA third at 8.7 percent. The Allentown/Bethlehem/Easton MSA has the fourth highest unemployment rate at 8.5 percent. The Reading MSA has the fifth highest unemployment rate in Pennsylvania at 7.9 percent, followed by the York MSA at 7.8 percent.

The State College MSA has the lowest unemployment rate in Pennsylvania at 5.8 percent. The Lebanon MSA has the second lowest unemployment rate in the state at 6.4 percent, while the Lancaster MSA has the third lowest unemployment rate at 6.5 percent. The Pittsburgh MSA has the fourth lowest unemployment rate at 7.1 percent.

The Scranton/Wilkes-Barre MSA has the fourth largest labor force in Pennsylvania with 287,800 civilians and 26,900 of them are without employment. The Philadelphia MSA has the largest labor force in Pennsylvania at 3,000,800 with 259,700 not working; the Pittsburgh MSA has the second largest labor force at 1,252,100 with 89,200 without jobs; and the Allentown/Bethlehem/Easton MSA has the third largest labor force at 430,900 with 36,700 not working.

The Williamsport MSA has the smallest labor force in Pennsylvania with 63,500 civilians and 5,100 of them have no jobs. The Altoona MSA has the second smallest labor force with 64,500 civilians with 4,800 without employment and the Johnstown MSA is third with a labor force of 67,900 and 6,000 of them are not working.

Lackawanna County continues to have the lowest unemployment rate in the MSA at 8.6 percent, increasing by three-tenths of a percentage point from the previous report and dropping by six-tenths of a percentage point from one year ago. The County has a civilian labor force of 108,800, unchanged from the previous report but increasing by 1,800 during the past twelve months. There are 9,300 civilians without employment in Lackawanna County, rising by 200 from the previous report but dropping by 600 during the past twelve months.

Luzerne County continues to have the highest unemployment rate in the MSA at 8.9 percent, increasing by eight-tenths of a percentage point from the previous report and rising by three-tenths of a percentage point from twelve months before. Luzerne County has the largest civilian labor-force in the MSA at 164,400, increasing by 1,000 from the previous report and rising by 4,600 during the past twelve months. Luzerne County has 16,200 civilians unemployed, increasing by 1,400 from the previous report and rising by 1,300 from one year ago.

Wyoming County’s unemployment rate is 8.9 percent, increasing by three-tenths of a percentage point from the previous report and dropping by seven-tenths of a percentage point from twelve months ago. The County has a civilian labor force of 14,500, unchanged from the previous report with 1,300 unemployed, also unchanged from the previous report.

IBEW Local 1600 files complaint against PPL Utility

08.15.12

AUGUST 2012 Scranton/Wilkes-Barre/Hazleton edition of The Union News

IBEW Local 1600 files complaint against PPL Utility

BY PAUL TUCKER
THEUNIONNEWSSWB@AOL.COM

REGION, July 24th- The labor organization that represents employees of the PPL Corporation filed a labor complaint with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) Region Four office in Philadelphia, alleging the utility provider violated the National Labor Relations Act (NLRAct).

According to the Unfair Labor Practice (ULP), which was discovered by the newspaper while reviewing representation petitions and labor complaints filed at the NLRB office, the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Union Local 1600 alleges PPL violated the NLRAct by suspending Chief Steward Jim Caffrey and placed him in a “Responsible Behavior Program” until July 27th, 2014.

The Union News is the only member of the local media, including newspapers, television or radio stations, that reviews and publishes the information.

IBEW Local 1600, Trexlertown, represents approximately 1,000 of the 4,700 PPL employees. The utility company provides electricity to approxmately 1.4 million customers in Pennsylvania including throughout Northeastern Pennsylvania.

The ULP was filed on July 9th, 2012 and states the company representative to be contacted is Stacy Simpson, a PPL Foreman.

The complaint alleges Mr. Caffrey was suspended for one day and given a 24 month “time-in-effect” and placed in a “Responsible Behavior Program” for the “Failure to adhere to Troubleman expections and failure to communicate with Dispatch. The union stated that no bargaining unit employee has ever been disciplined for such an alleged infraction. In fact, the ULP continued, the “Responsible Behavior Program” and the “Troubleman expectations” policy were never bargain with the Union and is not a part of the contract.