Rendell touts job report as evidence economy is improving


A new internal state jobs report indicates that there were more jobs created than lost in Pennsylvania for the first time since the recession began last summer.

Gov. Rendell, speaking at a news conference in the Capitol, said that while the two-week report does not mean that the recession is over, it is "good news." 

"It's clear that Pennsylvania businesses are beginning to expand," he said.

The Department of Labor & Industry report - typically drafted internally for the governor - showed 13 companies expanding or opening with the combined potential creation of 1,892 jobs for the period July 25 to Aug. 7.

In the same period there were five plant closings or layoffs notices, totaling 529 jobs.

On the downside, he said, the state employment rate crept up to 8.5 percent, which Rendell pointed out is still less than the national average in July of 9.4 percent.

Rendell said the latest report is good reason why the legislature  - which continues its budget negotiations this week - should avoid "eviscerating" the economic development programs.