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USW Local 2599 conducts annual ‘Ed O’Brien’ legislative dinner-dance

05.29.15

JUNE 2015, LEHIGH VALLEY Edition of The Union News

USW Local 2599 conducts annual ‘Ed O’Brien’ legislative dinner-dance

BY PAUL TUCKER
THEUNIONNEWSABE@AOL.COM

REGION, May 16th- The United Steelworkers Union (USW) Local 2599, held their annual ‘Ed O’Brien Legislative Dinner/Dance’ on Friday evening, May 8th at the USW building on East Lehigh Street in Bethlehem. More than 110 attended the event which included USW officers and members, elected political officials, candidates for the May primary election and other union officials. The scheduled featured speaker was Pennsylvania Lt. Governor Mike Stack, however Mr. Stack cancelled the event just hours before because of a death in his family.

Local 2599 is one the largest labor organizations in the Lehigh Valley and once represented workers employed at Bethlehem Steel, just several blocks away from the union hall. The site of the former steel mill is now the location of the Sands Casino. The steel mill closed in 2000.

This years event was held on a Friday, normally it is held on a Saturday evening and the attendance increased from last year by more than 30 people.

Jerry Green, President of Local 2599, which was recently elected by the membership for a sixth consecutive three-year term as leader of the union, welcomed the guest of the dinner/dance. Mr. Green broke the record by winning a sixth term as President of Local 2599. The previous record was held by Louis Schrenko who served for five consecutive terms from 1964 to 1979 when the union represented thousands of workers at Bethlehem Steel. Following the steel mill closure several USW local unions’ were merged into Local 2599.

Mr. Green serves on the Pennsylvania State Workers Compensation Advisory Board, being appointed by former House of Representatives Speaker Keith McCall.

Retired USW official and former Democratic party candidate for the House of Representatives 15th Legislative District Ed O’Brien, for which the legislative dinner/dance is named, attended the event. Mr. O’Brien ran and received the Democratic nomination in 2001 and 2003 but was defeated by current Republican United States Pennsylvania Senator Pat Toomey, also from the Lehigh Valley.

Mr. O’Brien first joined the USW in 1964 and serve in many positions within the USW, both in the Lehigh Valley and with the USW International Union. He resides in Coaldale with his wife Shirley.

Also attending the event was Allentown Democratic Mayor Edward Pawlowski, an candidate for Mr. Toomey’s Senate seat in 2016. Mr. Toomey will be seeking a second six-year term next year.

Mr. Pawlowski will likely receive the support of many of the affiliated unions of the building and construction trades. His relationship with the unions has been excellent because of his support for the hiring of the workers for building projects in the City of Allentown.

Also attending was Corey Lockard, Director of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) District Council 86, and the Chairperson of the Northeastern Pennsylvania Area Labor Federation (NEPA-ALF). Mr. Lockard attended the event for the first-time and stated he was “impressed” with the USW building and found the event to be “old-school” and very enjoyable.

Nonfarm jobs increase by 4,800 in MSA from one year ago

05.29.15

JUNE 2015, LEHIGH VALLEY Edition of The Union News

Nonfarm jobs increase by 4,800 in MSA from one year ago

BY PAUL LEESON
THEUNIONNEWSABE@AOL.COM

REGION, May 15th- According to 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) has gained 4,800 nonfarm jobs during the past twelve months to 351,100.

The data indicates that total private jobs increased within the MSA, which includes Carbon, Lehigh and Northampton Counties of Pennsylvania and Warren County, New Jersey, by 5,800 during the period.

There are 35,600 manufacturing jobs within the MSA, unchanged from one year before. Within the nonfarm sector, The data states there are 12,600, rising by 300 during the past twelve months, mining, logging and construction, jobs within the MSA.

According to the data, there are 39,900 government jobs in the MSA. Local government employs the most in the sector with 35,000 jobs, decreasing by 900 over the past twelve months. State government jobs have dropped by 100 from twelve months ago to 2,700. The Federal government employs 2,200, unchanged from twelve months before.

Most sectors within the MSA gained jobs during the past twelve months. The Leisure and Hospitally sector gained the most rising by 2,400 jobs, with Accommodation and Food Service jobs gaining by 1,100 within the sector.

There are 71,800 Education and Health Services jobs in the MSA with 18,900 of them being hospital jobs. There are 58,900 Healthcare and Social Assistance jobs in the MSA, dropping by 600 from twelve months ago.

According to the data there are 12,600 mining, logging and construction jobs, with the majority being in the construction industry, in the MSA. The sector gained 900 jobs during the past year.

LEHIGH VALLEY MSA’s unemployment rate increases to 5.7 percent

05.29.15

JUNE 2015, LEHIGH VALLEY Edition of The Union News

MSA’s unemployment rate increases to 5.7 percent

BY PAUL LEESON
THEUNIONNEWSABE@AOL.COM

REGION, May 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 increased by two-tenths of a percentage point from the previous report at 5.7 percent. There are eight-teen MSA’s within the state and the Allentown/Bethlehem/Easton MSA has the fourth highest unemployment rate.

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 6.8 percent.

The East Stroudsburg MSA and the Johnstown MSA are tied for the highest unemployment rate in Pennsylvania at 6.6 percent. The Scranton/Wilkes-Barre/Hazleton MSA has the second highest unemployment in the state at 6.2 percent, the Williamsport MSA has the third highest unemployment rate at 5.8 percent, while the Philadelphia MSA has the fifth highest rate at 5.6 percent.

The State College MSA has the lowest unemployment rate in the state at 3.7 percent. The State College MSA traditionally has the lowest unemployment within the state, however, the MSA also has one of the smallest workforces with 77,600 civilians. The Lancaster MSA has the second lowest unemployment rate at 4.2 percent, the Gettysburg MSA has the third lowest unemployment rate at 4.3 percent while the Harrisburg/Carlisle MSA has the fourth lowest at 4.5 percent. The Lebanon MSA has the fifth lowest unemployment rate in Pennsylvania at 4.7 percent.

The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in Pennsylvania was reported to be at 5.3 percent, increasing by one-tenth of a percentage point from the previous report, while decreasing by eight-tenths of a percentage point from twelve months before.

There are 336,000 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 6,375,000 and 6,030,000 of them have employment.

The national seasonally adjusted unemployment rate is 5.5 percent, unchanged 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.

The data indicates that there are 8,575,000 civilians nationwide without employment, but that number also does not include workers that have exhausted their unemployment benefits and stopped looking for work.

The Allentown/Bethlehem/Easton MSA has the third largest labor force in Pennsylvania with 425,700 civilians, increasing by 1,200 from the previous report but decreasing by 1,600 during the past twelve months. There are 24,200 civilians without employment within the Allentown/Bethlehem/Easton MSA, increasing by 800 from the month before and dropping by 5,800 from one year ago.

The Philadelphia MSA has the largest seasonally adjusted labor force in Pennsylvania at 3,033,900 with 171,300 not working; the Pittsburgh MSA has the second largest labor force at 1,205,600 with 64,100 without jobs. The Harrisburg/Carlisle MSA has the fourth largest labor-force in Pennsylvania at 288,900 and 12,900 are jobless while the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre/Hazleton MSA is fifth at 283,100 civilians and 17,600 are unemployment.

Within the MSA, Northampton County has the lowest unemployment at 5.6 percent, rising by two-tenths of a percentage point from the previous report and dropping by one and one-tenth of a percentage point from twelve months before. Northampton County has a civilian labor force of 155,100, increasing by 500 from the previous report and also rising by 500 during the past twelve months. There are 8,700 without jobs, increasing by 400 from the month before and dropping by 1,700 during the past twelve months in Northampton County.

Carbon County has the highest unemployment rate within the MSA at 6.0 percent, increasing by six-tenths of a percentage point from the month before and dropping by two full percentage points from twelve months before. Carbon County has a civilian labor force of 31,500, the smallest within the MSA, with 1,900 without employment, decreasing by 600 from twelve months ago.

Lehigh County has the largest civilian labor-force within the MSA at 181,600, increasing by 700 from the previous report and dropping by 900 from one year before.

Lehigh County’s unemployment rate rose by three-tenths of a percentage point from the previous report but dropped by nine-tenths of a percentage point from one year before. There are 10,300 civilians in Lehigh County without jobs, increasing by 500 from the previous report and dropping by 2,100 during the past twelve months.