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Jobs Workshop
Sept. 25, 2010

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Lehigh County
Conference of Churches

Justice & Advocacy

Jobs, Justice, and Economics

Unemployment in the Lehigh Valley is still near the national average of 9.6%, not counting those who have run out of unemployment benefits and given up looking for work,[1] and for every job opening, there are still about five people looking for work. [2] More than half of all workers have been directly affected by the "Great Recession," including layoffs, reduced work hours, or pay cuts. [3] Job training and placement services are important resources for matching people with available jobs, but in the current economic environment it still leaves the majority of unemployed workers without jobs.


The Justice & Advocacy Committee works to educate congregations about the broad range of support services now available for job training and placement, and also what it takes to rebuild a sustainable economy in which workers can find jobs in a healthy work environment and receive fair wages, and how congregations can be engaged in this process.

Congregational Employment Resources:

We are also working in the following areas:

  • Worker rights training - included as part of job training programs.
  • Supporting labor-management relations by participating as observers in negotiations between local employers and employees.
  • Helping congregations set fair employment and contracting policies for their own workers and contract construction projects.
  • Providing support for local job clubs through the Interfaith Worker Justice network.
See our Jobs Resource Page for links to local and web-based resources on jobs and worker issues, or contact us for more details.


1. Lehigh Valley Unemployment Rate up to 9.9% in July (PA Dept. of Labor & Industry news release, Aug. 31, 2010); also see Pennsylvania's Workforce Statistics.
2. May 2010 issue of the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) Monthly Labor Review:  "Job openings, hires, and separations fall during the recession" (PDF);    Graphs & Statistics (Sept. 8, 2010)
Next update: Oct. 13, 2010 from JOLTS.
"Unemployed workers outnumber job openings 5.6-to-one in March", by Heidi Shierholz (Economic Policy Institute: May 11, 2010).
3. The Great Recession at 30 Months, Pew Research Center.
Financial Crisis Tracker

Location: http://ja.ppjr.org/seminars/jobs/
Last Updated: 12/7/10
Created: May 20, 2010