Excerpt from “The Best- and Worst-Run States in America: A Survey of All 50” by Samuel Stebbins and Evan Comen, 24/7 Wall St., December 6, 2017. Sad to say, only Alabama, Mississippi, New Mexico and Louisiana rank lower than our own once-fair Commonwealth, which is described thusly:
2016 Unemployment: 5.4% (9th highest)
Pension funded ratio: 55.8% (5th lowest)
Credit rating and outlook: Aa3/Stable
Poverty: 12.9% (23rd lowest)
Pennsylvania is one of only three states with no money saved to close budget gaps in the event of declining tax revenue. And this will likely be a problem in the coming years as the state’s tax base is eroding. Nearly 11,000 more people left Pennsylvania in 2016 than moved in.
A dwindling population does little to spur economic growth. Pennsylvania’s GDP expanded by only 0.6% in 2016, even as the U.S. economy grew by 1.5%. The Keystone State’s need for improved economic conditions is more dire than most states’ as evidenced by the relative the share of workers out of a job. Pennsylvania’s 5.4% unemployment rate is higher than the 4.9% U.S. rate and among the 10 worst of all states.