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Articles written by The Center Square

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  • 2019 College Grads In Pa. Carried An Average Of $39,027 In Student Debt

    The Center Square|Jan 28, 2021

    Last year's Pennsylvania college graduates on average racked up $39,027 in student loan debt, the second highest average among the 50 states and the District of Columbia, according to a new report from the Institute for College Access & Success. In Pennsylvania, the share of graduates with debt during the 2018-19 academic year stood at 65%, the institute reported, while the total cost of attending college in the state averaged $43,974. Nationwide, 62 percent of college seniors who graduated...

  • Roughly 1 in 3 Pa. Businesses Closed Due To Gov't Mandate

    The Center Square|Jan 14, 2021

    Nearly one in three Pennsylvania businesses closed due to a government mandate, “substantially higher” than the U.S. private sector average, according to a new survey from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The 30.4 percent of Pennsylvania businesses that closed due to a government mandate is higher than New York (25.8 percent), New Jersey (22.4 percent), Ohio (19.5 percent), Maryland (18.6 percent), West Virginia (nearly 17.1 percent) and Delaware (about 16.3 percent). Nationally, South Dakota saw the fewest businesses close at 5.8 per...

  • Are You in the Middle Class?

    The Center Square|Jan 7, 2021

    In Pennsylvania, households must earn a minimum of $25,757 per year to be considered middle class, with the upper earnings boundary set at $121,862, according to a new 24/7 Wall St. analysis. The total share of household income in Pennsylvania controlled by middle-class earners is 45.8 percent, 24/7 Wall St. reports. In comparison, the share of income in the state controlled by the top 5 percent of earners was 23 percent. To determine the income requirements of the middle class in each state, 24...

  • Study: 0.36% of Pa. Residents Incarcerated

    The Center Square|Dec 17, 2020

    The number of incarcerated individuals in Pennsylvania stands at 355 per 100,000 residents, the 25th highest rate among the 50 states, according to data from the Sentencing Project. A total of 45,485 people are imprisoned in Pa., according to the study, which also reported that 180,901 residents were on probation. Other issues quantified in the Sentencing Project numbers include racial disparities, the number of juveniles in custody and spending on states’ corrections systems. The nonprofit group obtains its data from a variety of sources, incl...

  • Government Transparency Bill Becomes Law Without Governor's Signature

    The Center Square|Jul 30, 2020

    Pa. Gov. Tom Wolf allowed a government transparency bill he once adamantly opposed lapse into law Sunday evening without his signature. The legislation requires state agencies to fulfill Right to Know records requests during disaster declarations. In a lengthy statement, the administration admonished House Bill 2463 as “foolish” and “thoughtless” and little more than a talking point for Republican majorities in the House and Senate, even though it was approved unanimously with bipartisan support. “I will let this bill become law, but it is tim...

  • Union members represent 12% of workforce in Pa.

    The Center Square|Jun 11, 2020

    The share of Pennsylvania workers who are members of labor unions numbered 676,000 in 2019, or 12 percent of the workforce, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The percentage of union members in the state’s workforce was the 15th highest among the 50 states and the District of Columbia. The total number of workers in Pennsylvania last year was 5,642,000, according to the BLS study. Nationwide, the share of wage and salary employees who were union members in 2019 was 10.3 percent, a percentage point drop of 0.2 c...

  • Pa. Protesters Rally Against Coronavirus Quarantines

    The Center Square|Apr 23, 2020

    Several hundred protesters gathered Monday in Pennsylvania’s capital city to rally against Gov. Tom Wolf’s stay at home orders and business closures amid the coronavirus pandemic. Gov.Wolf has long maintained that his aggressive and strict mitigation efforts have been pivotal in slowing the spread of COVID-19. As of Monday, more than 33,000 residents have tested positive and more than 1,200 have died – representing the fifth highest concentration of cases in the United States. But for demonstrators, the administration’s heavy hand has forced...