Saturday, October 10, 2015

Graying PA: Fewer workers, more old retirees

Do we need more immigrants?

Graying PA: Fewer workers, more old retirees


The numbers of working-age and school-aged Pennsylvanians are expected to fall over the next decade, while the number of retirees depending on elder jobs, personal savings and government payments will jump by 26%, reports the state's Independent Fiscal Office. Read its report here.

As a result, the average Pennsylvanian will soon be over 40 years old, for the first time, about three years older than the nation as a whole. 

The office notes this will be expensive for Pennsylvania taxpayers, who will be asked to beef up underfunded pension plans for retired police, judges, state legislators, teachers and other public employees.

What to do? Encourage families to have more kids? Give employers incentives to hire young people and keep them here? Or attract more immigrants -- who are more likely than other Pennsylvanias to work and to own businesses, as US Census data shows.

Well, this is the state that elected anti-immigrant Hazleton mayor Lou Barletta to Congress and keeps anti-immigrant State Rep. Darryl Metcalfe, R-Butler, in a position of power and influence. We're not exactly rolling out the welcome mat. 

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PhillyDeals posts drafts, transcripts and updates of Joseph N. DiStefano's columns and stories about Philly-area business, which he's been writing since 1989.

DiStefano studied economics, history and a little engineering at Penn and taught writing at St. Joseph's. He has written thousands of columns and articles for the Inquirer, Bloomberg and other media, wrote the book Comcasted, and raised six children with his wife, who is a saint.

Reach Joseph N. at,, 215.854.5194 or 302.652.2004.

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