Corbett: “the jobs are there,” but some purposely staying unemployed
July 9, 2010 23 Comments
Republican gubernatorial nominee Tom Corbett says a portion of Pennsylvania’s 591,000 workers without jobs are choosing to stay unemployed.
During a door-to-door tour of Elizabethtown, Lancaster County businesses today, Corbett said “the jobs are there,” but that many people are purposely remaining unemployed, in order to collect benefits. He says he’s heard this from business owners across Pennsylvania. “One of the issues, and I hear it repeatedly – one of the individuals said, ‘I can’t get workers. People don’t want to come back to work while they still have unemployment.’’ He said. “They’re literally telling him, ‘I’ll come back to work when unemployment runs out.’ That’s becoming a problem.”
Corbett added, “The jobs are there. But if we keep extending unemployment, people are going to sit there and – I’ve literally had construction companies tell me, I can’t get people to come back to work until…they say, I’ll come back to work when unemployment runs out.”
Here’s sound of the Attorney General’s comments:
Pennsylvania’s unemployment rate is at 9.1 percent. That’s slightly below the national rate of 9.5 percent. According to the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry’s website, unemployment benefits should equal “about one-half” of a person’s previous weekly wage. L&I spokesman Troy Thompson explains, “If an unemployed worker did turn down a job because they could make more on unemployment compensation the job offer would be for less than half of their former salary. The average unemployment compensation amount is about $310.”
Democrat Dan Onorato responded to Corbett’s unemployment argument with the following statement: “I don’t know what world Tom Corbett is living in. Our economy is struggling, families in Pennsylvania are hurting, and Harrisburg insiders like Tom Corbett aren’t doing anything to help them. Tom Corbett doesn’t even recognize there’s a problem, so it’s no surprise that he has no real plan to improve our economy or actually create the jobs that in his mind already exist.”
Corbett also criticized the state budget signed into law this week. He faulted Governor Rendell and legislative leaders for banking on $850 million dollars in tentative federal assistance. “I understand that budgets are based upon projections. But counting on the federal government to come through on something is a risky proposition at the moment.” He disagreed with Rendell’s argument the state banks on unapproved federal dollars every year, responding, “This is a little different than saying, ok we’re going to get X because we always get X. this is speculation.”
Corbett also opposes a $600 million borrowing bill for construction projects across Pennsylvania. He says he isn’t against all bond issues, but thinks this one is irresponsible.
Corbett says he’d push for a two-year budget cycle, if he’s elected in November.