In the News

Why Pennsylvania Finished 35th Overall in Rich States, Poor States: Jonathan Williams on Lincoln Radio Journal

Though there are a few reasons for optimism, Pennsylvania continues embracing policies that make it tough on businesses and taxpayers.

Jonathan Williams, ALEC Executive Vice President of Policy and Chief Economist, spoke with Lowman Henry of the Lincoln Radio Journal about Pennsylvania’s rankings in the latest edition of Rich States, Poor States: ALEC-Laffer State Economic Competitiveness Index.

Pennsylvania came in 35th out of 50 states for Economic Outlook. That’s fairly consistent, as Pennsylvania has landed in the mid to high 30’s for the last number of years. Certainly not the worst – like New York or New Jersey – but there are a number of areas they can improve upon to turn things around.

We also examined the economic performance ranking. That’s a backward-looking measure inspecting the last 10 years of policies to determine if they produced economic growth or lacked growth. This is the more concerning part of the ranking for Pennsylvania, as they rank 46th in economic performance. That includes things like what is the gross state domestic product? What is the overall economic growth of the state?  What is the absolute domestic migration? Americans vote with their feet, so are they coming into or moving out of Pennsylvania?

They lost 258,000 people over the last decade alone as people were moving out of Pennsylvania to one of the other 49 states. Then there are things like job growth. Pennsylvania’s job growth has been way under the national average at 2% over the last decade.