For our part, we set out to revive the economy of this state, with sound budgeting and spending discipline. I have submitted, and you have passed, three balanced budgets - on time.
We addressed our state’s fiscal problems by eliminating the deficit, and without adding to the fiscal problems of our citizens by raising their taxes.
Sometimes in government, nothing makes a difference like defining a promise kept.
And with your support, we have not raised taxes in three years.
In that and other ways, we are doing things right, the signs of revival are clear to see. Pennsylvanians are finding jobs again, in Pennsylvania.
Today our labor force is 6 million strong and growing. In three years, our commonwealth has added enough jobs to replace nearly all we lost in the downturn.
At its peak, unemployment in our state was 9.2 percent, now it is 6.9 percent, a five year low. That demonstrates progress.
Better still, the economists say conditions are right for more job growth this coming year and well beyond. The PEW Research Center estimates that number to grow by another 76,000 this year alone.
Why? Because we are building a stronger Pennsylvania.
Every city is the heart of a region, and as a city is stronger, so too is that region. We’re seeing that today in Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, and right here in Harrisburg - a city finally on its way to financial recovery.
A few short years ago our capital city’s future was bleak. But this General Assembly acted, establishing the Office of the Receiver. Our commonwealth team, led by General William Lynch, has put Harrisburg on a path to a better, brighter future.
Please join me in thanking General Lynch.
In so many cases, too, we’re seeing expansion of the best kind, into industries that have a good future ahead of them. Ten or 15 years ago, few would have guessed that Pittsburgh would become a leader in biotech or high technology. Well, today it is a leader in both. When Google completes that new building in Pittsburgh this year, it’ll be their second.
The entertainment technology industry that many think California has the market on, is on the move in Pennsylvania too. Just a few weeks ago, I was in Philadelphia when Comcast announced a 1.2 billion-dollar plan to build an innovation and technology center.
When major companies make investments on that scale, they look for cities on the rise, and in this case, they called it right.