ISSUE 126 | September 23, 2021
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From Around the Region and the State
Economic and Policy News
State and local pensions offer mixed results but new efforts improve position 
As a result of market forces and increasing contributions, Pennsylvania’s pension plan moved to positive amortization from 2014-2019.

Tools are available to help fund managers navigate future uncertainties, but sustainable plans must be implemented.

Shifts to defined contribution as opposed to defined benefits will also help finances improve over time. 

Labor unions increasing in more sectors throughout PA 
From tech workers to librarians, union membership increased 1.5 percent from 2019 – 2020.

For several decades, unionization in Pennsylvania has run low compared to other states.

The trend appears to be changing as workplace safety emerges as a high area of concern.  

Philly SD paying parents to transport students amid bus driver shortage
Transportation providers have not been exempt from the national workforce shortage, and the School District of Philadelphia has taken action to mitigate the consequences.

Its Parent Flat Rate program will pay parents to drive their children to and from school, or make alternative transportation plans.

They may earn up to $3,000 for the school year, depending on the nature of participation. 

From Around the Nation and the Globe
Economic and Policy News
Large-scale reassessment among complexities of worker shortage 
The public and private sectors are beginning to realize that the end of the unemployment compensation add-on is not solving hiring challenges.

Long-term and short-term issues are influencing the worker shortage.

Some of these issues may be manageable through public policy development. 

Public engagement efforts offer great power to a limited few 
A Boston University study recognized that people who tend participate in public meetings are not representative of the communities.

Even the extended use of technology such as videoconferences barely diversify citizen input.

As a result, policies and initiatives that are implemented fail to meet true needs. 

Hospital-based intervention shown to reduce family violence  
In 19 states, hospital-based family violence intervention units are effectively helping victims deal with trauma.

This success extends to violence prevention as well.

In fact, their track records are so promising that a few states have allowed their Medicaid programs to cover the costs of the units. 

Research Spotlight: The workforce shortage looms in Northeastern Pennsylvania, just as it does throughout the country. Click below, and then on the red boxes labeled 'Education and Workforce Development' and 'Jobs, Economy, and Economic Development.' Scroll to find The Institute's extensive research surrounding the region's workforce dynamics.

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