Free Trade Fact of the Day: Pennsylvania’s All Right

Conn Carroll /

Barack Obama recently told a San Francisco fundraising audience that the reason he couldn’t beat Hillary Clinton in Pennsylvania was because the people who lived in small towns there were “bitter” and chose to “cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them” instead of embracing Barack Obama. There are so many things wrong with this statement, but we’ll focus on just one: things have been getting better in Pennsylvania, not worse.

Heritage scholar Ambassador Terry Miller looks at data from the Census Bureau’s Quarterly Workforce Indicators (QWI) and notes:

How are Pennsylvanians doing? The picture is surprisingly good. Total employment rose from 5,486,213 in 2005 to 5,566,049 in 2006, the latest year for which full data are available. Average monthly earnings rose too, from $3,359 in 2005 to $3,509 in 2006. Growth in jobs and incomes was widespread across the state. Forty of Pennsylvania’s 67 counties showed gains in both categories, and 21 of the others showed gains in incomes but not in the number of jobs.

Over a longer period, the data are even more compelling and more positive. The QWI don’t cover Senator Obama’s 25-year time span, but they do cover a full decade.