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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.

Yuengling Brewery products not welcomed at Tom Wolf’s Inauguration in Harrisburg

01.28.15

FEBRUARY 2015, LEHIGH VALLEY Edition of The Union News

Yuengling Brewery products not welcomed at Tom Wolf’s Inauguration in Harrisburg

BY PAUL TUCKER
THEUNIONNEWSABE@AOL.COM

REGION, January 23rd- Rick Bloomingdale, President of the Pennsylvania American Federation of Labor and the Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) labor federation in Harrisburg, told the newspaper that while he supports the decision to not serve beverages manufactured by Pottsville based Yuengling Brewery at Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf’s inauguration recently held in Harrisburg, he did not request the action and doesn’t know who did.

Pennsylvania House of Representative Mike Vereb (Republican-150th Legislative District) complained that he was made aware that Yuengling Brewery products were not to be served at Mr. Wolf’s inauguration party and suggested that it was not a accident that Pennsylvania’s largest nonunion brewery was left-off the list of beverage suppliers.

“If Mr. Wolf or someone within his inner circle deliberately left Yuengling off the list of beer suppliers, good for them, but I did not request it. However, I like the decision,” stated Mr. Bloomingdale when contacted by the newspaper. Several other Pennsylvania beverage companies participated in the post inauguration parties.

Dick Yuengling Jr., the leader of D.G. Yuengling, in 2014 stated that he supports legislation that would eliminate union security clauses in labor agreements in Pennsylvania, often called ‘right-to-work’ laws. The labor community refers to the legislation as ‘no-rights-at-work’ laws.

Currently, any new hire by a employer in Pennsylvania that is unionized, it is required for the employee to become a member of the bargaining unit after serving a probationary period. Also, an employee to continue to work at a unionized employer that has a union security clause in their collective bargaining agreement and working within the unions jurisdiction must be a member of the union.

Mr. Yuengling stated at a Pennsylvania Press Club appearance last year that Pennsylvania would attrack more businesses if there was a “right-to-work” law on the books. Also he added that former Pennsylvania Republican Governor Tom Corbett was a “great man”.

Forges Magazine estimates that Mr. Yuengling’s worth is more than $1.3 billion and Mr. Bloomingdale said with that wealth he supports legislation that if passed would result in a decrease of wages for workers.

The labor community held a rally in Pottsville on November 9th, 2014 to protest Mr. Yuenglings remarks and show the public-at-large and Harrisburg political leaders that they will fight against legislation that removes union security clauses from labor agreements in the state.

“I don’t know who got in Wolf’s people ear about not having Yuengling products there, but I support it,” Mr. Bloomingdale said.