The Update: What’s Important in Harrisburg & DC – September 6, 2022



We hope everyone enjoyed the fruits of their labor by celebrating Labor Day. If you missed our State of Working PA report right before the break, take a look at the summary below and some of the great coverage of our analysis of the future of union organizing in Pennsylvania and beyond.

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Stephen Herzenberg
Executive Director


Keystone Research Center releases annual State of Working PA Report

Highlights Importance of Policy Choices a New Governor, Legislature Will Make



Harrisburg, PA—The Keystone Research Center released its annual “State of Working Pennsylvania” check-in on the Pennsylvania economy, a report with a simple message: a tight labor market and new union organizing offer new possibilities for Pennsylvania workers. With smart and worker-friendly policies over the next several years, Pennsylvania could enjoy a return to shared prosperity for the first time in decades. (View press conference, here.)

“Two unique circumstances that increase workers’ power in the labor market create the possibility of a better future for Pennsylvania workers,” said KRC economist and executive director Stephen Herzenberg. “The withdrawal of individual workers from the job market and a wave of innovative union organizing—if policy capitalizes on these realities, and has workers’ backs, Pennsylvania can lock in a more equitable future.”

Over the next weeks, KRC will re-release stand-alone blogs and/or briefs focused on each of the seven sections of this year’s “State of Working Pennsylvania.” “By breaking down our analysis into smaller bites,” said Herzenberg, “we aim to make it more digestible. We also want to persuade elected officials, candidates, the media, and other audiences that we need a holistic commitment in the next gubernatorial administration to rules and public investments which ensure our powerful market economy delivers for all Pennsylvanians.

Click here for our State of Working PA Resource Page to see the full report, video of the press conference, and additional coverage.


This time the union comeback really could be just around the corner | Opinion

Stephen Herzenberg | Pennsylvania Capital-Star

“In local industries, workers and unions can make progress one community at a time—in the Philadelphia and Pittsburgh coffee shop sectors, for example. Once they get a foothold in one community, big corporate structures can serve as a conduit for union organizing from one community to another—as has happened at Starbucks.

An organizing wave in giant corporations and local industries could unite and lift wages for workers of every race and gender.

Of course, some corporations and anti-union politicians will fight tooth-and-nail to crush this incipient mass movement and preserve the 1 percent economy. That makes the choices voters make in November critical: if Pennsylvanians elect a new governor and legislature that have workers’ interest at heart, Pennsylvania can consolidate a new era of shared prosperity.”


Union rebound lifts prospects for happier Labor Day

Stephen Herzenberg | The Scranton Times Tribune

“As much as any Labor Day in a long time, this one is full of promise for workers in Northeast Pennsylvania and in our state.” Read more.