Health Care - July 16, 2010

PA Unemployment Rate Rises in June

Pennsylvania’s jobless rate is rising; the Commonwealth has, until now, been posting rates well below the national average. But numbers that were released this week indicate that the gap between the national average and Pennsylvania is closing.

The nation’s unemployment rate was 9.5 percent, while PA came in at 9.2 percent in June. This may indicate that leads PA may have had over other states are starting to disappear. Compared to one year ago, the state unemployment rate is one percent higher than last year while the national average remains the same. With the loss of census worker jobs this month, the dip could be temporary. Economists are also looking at the possibility of a “double-dip” recession—a situation where the economy starts to recover and then takes another dive back into a recession.

Turnpike to raise rates, again

The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission announced yesterday that it would be raising rates again in January 2011. With this increase, the Pennsylvania Turnpike may become the most expensive toll road in the country.

Cash tolls will be raised by ten percent, while EZ Pass users will only see a three percent increase. The Commission is hoping more people will switch to easy pass as a result of lower rate hikes for users. Turnpike fares have been increasing since 2009. Users saw a twenty-five percent raise in 2009, a three percent hike this year. The increase in 2011 marks three years of higher tolls.

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