Wednesday, September 4, 2013

State of Working PA: Slowing Job Growth, Falling Wages Impede Recovery (and The Drop in Uninsured)

This is a repost from the Healthcare for All PA/PUSH Website.

The Keystone Research Center is a great resource for economic data on Pennsylvania.  They have come out with a report on the state of wages in PA.  Above is a graph from their report showing how wages have declined since the recession began in 2009 and a map from them showing where unemployment remains the highest in the state.    You can read their full report and listen to a podcast about it at the link below.  The impact of UMPC on wages is even discussed.

State of Working PA: Slowing Job Growth, Falling Wages Impede Recovery

The drop in median wages since 2009 is not as large in PA as the US as a whole is not necessarily cause for celebration.  The rate of uninsured in Pennsylvania has also been historically lower than the nation's.  The median wage is the wage that would be placed right in the middle when all the wages of all citizens are ranked from highest to lowest.  The Census Bureau has come out with the newest Small Area Health Insurance Estimates for the year 2011.  The state rate has declined from 12.1% in 2010 to 12.0% in 2011 (the change is within the margin of error of +/- 0.2% so it's really no change).  I will be doing future posts on the county level estimates and seeing how they correlate with other county level variables such as unemployment.  

The small to nonexistent statewide drop is troubling as certain parts of the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare) have taken effect such as parents being able to keep their kids on their insurance until age 26.  Once the individual mandate (the least popular part of the Act) takes effect on Jan 1, 2014, wage decline could have a serious confounding effect on purchasing insurance and keeping up with co payments.  This is especially exacerbated since Gov. Corbett has refused to expand Medicaid.

**Related Posts**

Economic Impact Study Press Release

National, State, and County Uninsured Estimates

CBS This Morning Report on UPMC

Pennsylvania's New Fiscal Year Without Expanded Medicaid