Energy - July 22, 2011

PA Turnpike to raise tolls

The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission approved an increase this week for cash customers on the turnpike.  The rate increase, which will go into effect in January 2012, is a ten percent hike.  Just this past January tolls were increased by ten percent for cash customers and three percent for EZ Pass users. 

The intent of the new increase is to drive more users to sign up for EZ Pass, which costs the Commission less per transaction than a cash transaction does.  This will be the fourth year the Commission has raised toll prices; by raising rates the Commission is able to meet funding obligations and push users towards electronic tolling.

Unemployment rate up in June

Pennsylvania’s unemployment rate rose in the month of June.  Pennsylvania’s rate in June was 7.6 percent, that’s up from 7.4 percent in May and the first increase since rates hit the highest point last year.  While the economy is recovering, it is happening at a much slower rate than expected.  Thus much needed jobs are not being created and unemployment rates are rising.  The national average also increased slightly from 9.1 percent in May to 9.2 percent in June.