Sunday, November 29, 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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About this blog

PhillyDeals posts interviews, drafts and updates that Joseph N. DiStefano writes alongside his Sunday and Monday columns and ongoing articles about Philadelphia-area business.

DiStefano studied economics, history and a little engineering at Penn. He taught writing and research at St. Joe’s. He has written for the Inquirer since 1989, except when he left a few times to work at Bloomberg and elsewhere. He wrote the book Comcasted, and raised six kids with his wife, who is a saint.

Reach Joseph N. at, 215.854.5194, @PhillyJoeD. Read his blog posts at and his Inquirer columns at Bloomberg posts his items at NH BLG_PHILLYDEAL.

Reach Joseph at or 215 854 5194.

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