Commentary

MAP: Pa.’s unemployment rate change varies by county | Wednesday Morning Coffee

December 9, 2020 6:30 am

Across the U.S., millions have lost jobs, paychecks and health insurance. (Getty Images / Spencer Pratt)

Good morning, fellow seekers.

Associate Editor Cassie Miller here, hoping your Wednesday is off to a smooth start.

On Monday, the Pennsylvania State Data Center dropped its “Map of the Month,” a map visualizing a Data Center-selected topic across Pennsylvania.

This month, the Data Center looked at Pennsylvania’s unemployment rate change from March to September, the first six months of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The map highlights the counties whose unemployment rates were most affected by the first six months of the pandemic, including the implementation of stay-at-home orders and business closures. 

While no part of Pennsylvania was unaffected, some fared better than others.

Philadelphia and Delaware counties saw an unemployment rate change of more than 3 percent, according to the map.

Philadelphia-suburb counties, including Bucks, Montgomery, Lehigh and Berks all saw unemployment rates change by 2.1 to 3 percent from March to September. 

In northeastern Pennsylvania, Monroe County reported an unemployment rate change of more than 3 percent, similar to Philadelphia and Delaware counties.

Its neighbors, Luzerne and Lackawanna counties, reported unemployment rate changes in the 2.1 to 3 percent range. 

In the northern tier of the state, many counties, including Bradford, Sullivan, Montour, Potter and McKean, reported lower rates of change than in other parts of Pennsylvania, logging rates under .5 percent.

Outliers next to their northern neighbors, Cameron County reported an unemployment rate change of more than 3 percent while Elk County reported a rate change in the 2.1 to 3 percent range. 

In the west, Erie and border counties Beaver and Mercer, logged rate changes in the 2.1 to 3 percent range. Pittsburgh’s Allegheny County also fell into this range.

Located in the south central region of Pennsylvania,  Fulton County reported an unemployment rate change far higher than its neighboring counties, recording more than 3 percent change compared to 1.1 to 2 percent rate change over the six month period in neighboring counties such as Bedford, Franklin, Huntingdon and Blair counties.

Our Stuff.

The COVID-19 pandemic has contributed to an increase in overdose deaths, Editorial Fellow Rjaa Ahmed reports. 

ICYMI: SCOTUS has dismissed a bid to have Pennsylvania’s mail-in ballots thrown out and its election results invalidated, Stephen Caruso reports. 

Black judges in Philadelphia say systemic racism is happening in the city’s courts, our partners at the Philadelphia Tribune report. 

Our partners at the Pittsburgh City Paper report that Uber has ended its autonomous vehicle pursuit, selling the division to Pittsburgh-based Aurora Innovations. 

On our Commentary Page this morning, PA Society president Edward Sheehan encourages Pennsylvanians to “celebrate all that we have in common,” and Fletcher McClellan looks at the best and worst of Pennsylvania’s year in the spotlight. 

Elsewhere.
Food bank demand has increased in the Lehigh Valley, The Morning Call reports. 
The state of Texas has asked SCOTUS to throw out Pa.’s election results, according the Philadelphia Inquirer.
Penn State Health is rescheduling elective procedures at its inpatient medical centers across the state after COVID cases climbed following ThanksgivingPennLive reports.
Here’s your #DailyPhoto taken by yours truly
From PoliticsPA: In a tweet Tuesday, President Donald Trump thanked Pa. House Speaker Bryan Cutler, R-Lancaster, for signing a letter asking Congress to overturn the results of the general election. 

The Trump administration’s chief scientist was unable to explain why Trump issued an executive order prioritizing shipment of COVID vaccines to America over other countries, POLTICO reports.

COVID-19 vaccinations begin in the U.K.The New York Times reports.

What Goes On.
11:30 a.m.:
 DHS Secretary Teresa Miller and Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding will discuss mental health resources available to rural communities and farmers over the holiday season.

Watchable. 
Can’t decide between a classic holiday movie or something more modern? Wired compiled this guide of the 13 best holidays movies and where to stream them.

Heavy Rotation.
Your daily earworm today is courtesy of Florence + The Machine. Here’s their cover of Elton John’s “Tiny Dancer.”

And now you’re up to date.

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Cassie Miller
Cassie Miller

A native Pennsylvanian, Cassie Miller worked for various publications across the Midstate before joining the team at the Pennsylvania Capital-Star. In her previous roles, she has covered everything from local sports to the financial services industry. Miller has an extensive background in magazine writing, editing and design. She is a graduate of Penn State University where she served as the campus newspaper’s photo editor. She is currently pursuing her master’s degree in professional journalism at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. In addition to her role at the Capital-Star, Miller enjoys working on her independent zines, Dead Air and Infrared. Follow her on Twitter: @Wordsby_CassieM.

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