Pattye Benson

Community Matters

On the Main Line, the Sting of Rising Unemployment

Today’s Philadelphia Inquirer includes a must-read for all of us. The article, On the Main Line, the Sting of Unemployment really speaks to what is going on all around us. We now all know someone in our community who has lost their job. I used to think that we were insulated from some of the very difficult economic situations facing other parts of Pennsylvania and around the country. However, that is no longer the case.

Although the article states that Chester County fortunately is 3rd lowest in unemployment in the state at 6.5%; it also suggests that unemployment here is growing at a staggering rate. Unemployment claims along the entire stretch of the R5 (Paoli Local) rose 143% from July 2007 to July 2009. However in some areas, such as Strafford, Wayne, St. Davids and Radnor the unemployment claims rose as much as 730%!

During this challenging township budget season, I suggest we all need to be mindful of the difficult economic times that our friends, family and neighbors are facing.

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  1. Yes, it is painful for so many folks in our community. As they face financial hardship, we can help them by not spending their money, i.e., by holding the line on taxes. Also, for those of us that have resources, we need to make an extra effort to support our favorite charities – I’ll be sending a check to the Berwyn Fire Company, among others.

    1. Thank you Mike. Many of the nonprofit organizations (including the Fire Company) are being particularly hard-hit due to the economic downturn and are desperate for contributions. As president of the Tredyffrin Historic Preservation Trust, I understand all too well, how difficult it is to find funding at this time. Thank you for stepping up to the plate with your contribution to Berwyn Fire Company!

  2. Also, this article underscores a risk of an EIT – tying tax revenue to employment, and thus the economic cycle – with unemployment having more than doubled in those Zip Codes in Tredyffrin, along with lower incomes for many who still have jobs, one can only imagine the reduction in EIT revenues. This would only compound the revenue “swings” we see from the real estate transfer tax.

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