National Unemployment Drop not Reflected in Erie - WICU12 HD WSEE Erie, PA News, Sports, Weather and Events

National Unemployment Drop not Reflected in Erie

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The national unemployment rate hasn't fallen below 8% since President Obama took office, but this past month the government reported a drop to 7.8%.

It's a decrease that former congressman Phil English says isn't represented in Erie's economy.

"Communities like Erie are being left behind as we have seen weakening numbers in the manufacturing sector and a general lack of growth in the economy," English said, "with a lower job creation rate last month than the two previous months."

He said the national numbers are skewed, and that economists place an alternative unemployment estimate at around 14%.

English said there's enough jobs to make up for people entering the workforce, like immigrants and recent graduates.

"All too many kids over the years have been leaving this community," he said, something he attributes to the lack of jobs locally.

Some services in Erie, like Erie DAWN, who help women find jobs, haven't seen anything close to a decrease in the need for employment.

Maureen Dunn, Erie DAWN's Executive Director, said "we end up having to turn more people away than we can help," because the need for jobs right now is too great.

Shirley Schell, of the Mercy Center for Women, said when her clients do find jobs, it's often not enough to support a family. They have to work multiple part time jobs to make ends meet.

The government reported a national growth in job creation this month of over 100,000, but in Erie, English says that area is still lacking.

"Somebody has to inject an opportunity, people in Erie respond that," he said.

To share your thoughts on unemployment in Erie, you can post to our Facebook page here.

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