Two new research briefs from the state’s Independent Fiscal Office (IFO) show trends leading to a declining number of workers in the state, which helps explain the continuing problem many employers have filling open positions.
A December 2022 IFO report titled Young Workers Leave PA Workforce examines the decline in labor force participation rates for young workers. Since the start of pandemic through November 2022, the labor force participation rate declined by -2.4% for workers age 20 to 24. Although the participation rate also declined for older workers, the decline was more modest: -0.8% for ages 25 to 44 and -0.5% for age 45 to 54.
U.S. Census Bureau Data, which includes state employment data by age group (not including self-employed), shows that payroll jobs in Pennsylvania declined by 151,000 or -3.0% between 2020 Q1 and 2022 Q1. When broken down by age group, only workers in the age 65-74 category showed significant gains in employment (+2.1%), while jobs for workers under the age of 35 declined by -4.6%.
The IFO report examines the ratio of payroll jobs to population and finds a contraction across all ages, but a much larger decline for younger age groups. It then calculates the number of additional workers that would be present in the state if the ratio had not changed since 2020. If workforce participation rates had not changed, there would be 113,000 additional workers, and more than half of these workers would be under the age of 35. This trend is a significant concern for the future as Pennsylvania’s workforce continues to age.
Part of this decline in the number of workers can be explained by population changes, which IFO’s report also examines. Between 2020 and 2022, Pennsylvania’s population declined by -0.3%.
A second IFO report, PA Population Contracts Since 2020, goes into more detail about the decline. Between April 1, 2020 and July 1, 2022, the state population contracted by 30,680. This contraction was mainly due to a natural decline, as the number of deaths (351,130) exceeded the number of births (294,980). Pennsylvania recorded the fifth largest natural contraction across all states.
International migration, which added 37,560 residents over the course of the two years, helped to mitigate PA’s population decline.
However, net domestic migration reduced state residents by 16,220 (more people moved out of PA to other states than moved into PA from other states).
National figures reveal that states gaining population were in the west and south, with the largest beneficiaries of domestic migration being Idaho (4.8%), Montana (3.6%), South Carolina (3.2%), Florida (2.9%), and Delaware (2.7%). Pennsylvania’s -0.1% domestic migration loss places the state in a similar category, but not as high, as neighbors Ohio (-0.3%), Virginia (-0.3%), Maryland (-1.1%), New Jersey (-1.2%), and New York (-3.3%).
A 2021 study by moving company United Van Lines helped to explain the out-migration trend in Pennsylvania, finding that about 35% of movers left the state for jobs, while 28% cited family, and 21% retirement as their reasons for leaving. This indicates that improving the economic and jobs climate in Pennsylvania is one of the keys to keeping workers in the state.
Please join us for PMTA’s Annual Membership Conference on April 18-20, where Independent Fiscal Office Director Matthew Knittel will join us as a speaker to discuss these and other topics.
Trooper Mike Brooks for Troop J, York is in search of any information or in-cab video from 12/28/22 at approximately 2050 hours (8:50 PM) at the intersection of US 30 East and Route 83 South. A woman was struck by a commercial vehicle on the Eastbound ramp at that location.
To reach Trooper Brooks, call 717-299-7650 and ask for Trooper Michael Brooks.
As of January 1, 2023, a Highway Use Fee will be imposed on certain carriers for the privilege of operating, or causing to be operated, certain heavy, multi-unit motor vehicles on any highway (i.e., public road) in Connecticut.
The Highway Use Fee is applicable to any person that operates or causes to be operated on any highway in Connecticut any eligible motor vehicle. An eligible motor vehicle has a gross weight of twenty-six thousand pounds or more and carries a classification between Class 8 and Class 13, inclusive, under the Federal Highway Administration vehicle classification system must register for a Highway Use Fee Permit, state officials say.
The Highway Use Fee is applicable to calendar months beginning on or after January 1, 2023. The first Highway Use Fee Return is due on or before February 28, 2023.
Certain carriers will be required to register with DRS for the Highway Use Fee by January 1, 2023. After registering, a Highway Use Fee Permit will be available in myconneCT.
See Taxpayer Services Special Bulletin 2022-7, Frequently Asked Questions Concerning the Highway Use Fee.
In addition, DRS has established a dedicated telephone number for questions related to the Highway Use Fee that is available Monday through Friday, between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., at 860-297-5677.
Tax reports must be filed monthly and must include: VIN, registration plate, country, state/province, total miles driven in Connecticut, GVW of vehicle. If the vehicle is fully loaded and meets a class of 80,000 lbs or above initially but after unloading during a multi-stop trip falls to a lower class, the remainder of the trip will be taxed at the lower rate.
The tax rates are as follows:
2.5 cents per mile for GVW of 26,000 to 28,000
with a graduating scale up to 17.5 cents per mile for GVW greater than 80,000.
Reports are due at the end of the following month (i.e. January is due February 28) and there are penalties for late or incomplete filings as well as failures to file.
More information is available here: https://portal.ct.gov/DRS/Businesses/Highway-Use-Fee/HUF
In the Pennsylvania Bulletin for Saturday December 10, 2022, the Department of Revenue noted a 4-cent increase in diesel fuel taxes for 2023.
The tax on fuels (undyed diesel and undyed kerosene) had been $0.741 per gallon since 2018 but will increase to $0.785 per gallon in 2023.
The rate of the oil company franchise tax is determined annually by the Department of Revenue and announced by each December 15 for the following calendar year. The tax rate is determined on a “cents per gallon equivalent basis,” which is defined as the average wholesale price per gallon multiplied by the decimal equivalent of any tax imposed by PA C.S § 9502 (relating to imposition of tax).
According to 75 PA C.S. § 9002, after December 31, 2016, the average wholesale price shall be as determined by the Department of Revenue for the 12-month period ending in September prior to the year for which the rate is to be set. For the 12-month period ending September 30, 2022, the Department has determined that the average wholesale price for all grades of gasoline and diesel fuel was $3.17 per gallon, therefore, the average wholesale price for 2023 is set at $3.17 per gallon – an increase from 2.99 determined for 2018.
Taxes on motor gasoline are also increasing under the same formula from $0.576 per gallon to $0.611 per gallon.
The increase in diesel fuel tax in Pennsylvania, plus the $0.243 per gallon federal tax pushes the total tax per gallon of diesel to $1.028.
Pennsylvania now has the second highest diesel fuel tax rate in the country, behind only California, which charges $0.795 per gallon.
See the full notice here in the PA Bulletin here: http://www.pacodeandbulletin.gov/Display/pabull?file=/secure/pabulletin/data/vol52/52-50/1906.html
Maiden voyage – James Manning heading to Maine.
Adding the Peters Brothers Hat to the famous shelf in Maine of companies that have hauled wreaths this year.
Their cooler full of wreaths getting sorted to reload to delivery points – smells like Christmas in there!
Seth Stump helping to hand unload at delivery in PA yesterday.
Getting scaled with our load of wreaths and the “SEAL” – Every truck is given a wreath for the grill when they are loaded!
Other PMTA members that are participating are asked to share your photos with PMTA by emailing Kelly Hawthorne.
If you would like to donate or volunteer, please visit www.wreathsacrossamerica.org
Pennsylvania’s notoriously litigious civil justice climate once again brought the Commonwealth the distinction of ranking as one of the nation’s worst judicial hellholes. This year, the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas and the PA Supreme Court combined rose to the second worst judicial hellhole in the nation in the American Tort Reform Foundation’s 2022-23 Judicial Hellholes report.
The report points to the recent PA Supreme Court decision to reverse the state’s successful medical liability venue rule as “perhaps the most disappointing decision in 2022.” This rule, which was put into place nearly 20 years ago to address skyrocketing liability premiums for healthcare professionals, was key to reining in healthcare costs and keeping physicians practicing in the state, especially in high-risk specialties. Prior to the rule being put into places, plaintiffs’ attorneys regularly brought medical liability lawsuits in high verdict jurisdictions like Philadelphia, in search of large payouts. Despite the success of the rule in helping to contain healthcare costs and keep doctors practicing, the Supreme Court eliminated the rule in August. The decision paves the way for a drastic increase in medical liability cases in high-verdict courts.
Also contributing to the commonwealth’s position on this year’s list, Pennsylvania ranked third per capital for nuclear verdicts in a 2022 U.S. Chamber study, with 78 verdicts ($10 million or more) in personal injury and wrongful death cases over the last decade. More than 60% of these verdicts were medical malpractice and product liability cases, with the Philadelphia Court of Common Please hosting more than half.
Several Pennsylvania decisions are cited in the report as contributing the state’s ranking, including Lorina v. Workers Compensation Appeal Board, where the PA Supreme Court reversed lower court decisions to find that it was mandatory for an employer to cover attorneys’ fees for a plaintiff in a worker’s comp appeal, even when the plaintiff chose counsel that charged premium rates and billed excessive hours.
Washington, D.C. – The American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI) today released a new report that assesses the infrastructure requirements for converting the U.S. vehicle fleet to battery electric. This analysis, a 2021 top priority of ATRI’s Research Advisory Committee, focused on three critical challenges for nationwide vehicle electrification:
· U.S. Electricity Supply and Demand
· Electric Vehicle Production
· Truck Charging Requirements
The study found that full electrification of the U.S. vehicle fleet would require a large percentage of the country’s present electricity generation. Domestic long-haul trucking would use more than 10 percent of the electricity generated in the country today – while an all-electric U.S. vehicle fleet would use more than 40 percent. Some individual states would need to generate as much as 60 percent more electricity than is presently produced.
ATRI’s analysis also quantified the tens of millions of tons of cobalt, graphite, lithium and nickel that will be needed to replace the existing U.S. vehicle fleet with battery electric vehicles (BEV), placing high demand on raw materials. Depending on the material, electrification of the U.S. vehicle fleet would require 6.3 to 34.9 years of current global production. This is the equivalent of 8.4 to 64.4 percent of global reserves for just the U.S. vehicle fleet.
Finally, it was found that charging the nation’s long-haul truck fleet will prove challenging, partially due to the ongoing truck parking crisis. Current technology will necessitate more chargers than there are truck parking spaces in the U.S., with hardware and installation costs of $112,000 per unit, or more than $35 billion system-wide.
“Carbon-emissions reduction is clearly a top priority of the U.S. trucking industry, and feasible alternatives to internal combustion engines must be identified,” said Srikanth Padmanabhan, President, Engine Business, Cummins Inc. “ATRI’s research demonstrates that vehicle electrification in the U.S. will be a daunting task that goes well beyond the trucking industry – utilities, truck parking facilities and the vehicle production supply chain are critical to addressing the challenges identified in this research. Thus, the market will require a variety of decarbonization solutions and other powertrain technologies alongside battery electric.”
Beyond BEV automobiles, the report concludes that while there are certain applications for BEV trucks, a completely new charging infrastructure is critical to increasing BEV truck adoption by the trucking industry. Furthermore, the research documents that existing raw material mining for BEV batteries will likely need to be re-sourced with an emphasis on domestic mining and production.
A copy of the full report is available through ATRI's website here.
ATRI is the trucking industry’s 501c3 not-for-profit research organization. It is engaged in critical research relating to freight transportation’s essential role in maintaining a safe, secure and efficient transportation system.
Starting at 5 p.m. on Monday, December 5, a 36-hour work zone with major traffic impacts will occur to support the opening of a new interstate bridge over the Rappahannock River as part of the I-95 Northbound Rappahannock River Crossing project. The new bridge is located at mile marker 132, between the City of Fredericksburg and Stafford County. Within the same work zone, crews building the 95 Express Lanes Fredericksburg Extension will place beams for a future flyover ramp north of exit 133.
Next week, drivers with destinations north of the Fredericksburg area should access exit 104 (Route 207/Carmel Church) in Caroline County to use Route 301.
Visit for https://improve95.org/traffic-shift/default.asp for important information about the lane closure schedule.
Earlier this year, the American Trucking Research Institute released its annual Top 10 Issues in Trucking list. After not being ranked in the top 10 at all in 2021, fuel prices top the list in 2022 followed by the driver shortage and truck parking.
When looking at issues presented by those specifically in Pennsylvania, the list is similar but there are some notable differences. The top 10 issues from Pennsylvanian responses were:
2. Driver Shortage
3. Driver Retention
4. Fuel Prices
5. (Tie) CSA, Driver Distraction and Lawsuit Abuse Reform
8. Transportation Infrastructure/ Congestion/ Funding
9. Independent Contractor Status
10. Truck Parking
While the economy was the fifth largest concern nationwide it topped the list in Pennsylvania. Fuel prices check in at number four on the list in PA still falling behind the driver shortage and driver retention.
Pennsylvanians are more concerned with Driver Distraction, Transportation Infrastructure and Independent Contractor Status than the rest of the country as those did not even crack the top 13 issues in the national report.
You can read a more detailed report on the Pennsylvania specific responses to the ATRI study here.
The Pennsylvania Farm Show is scheduled for January 7-14th and PMTA will once again have a display booth. This year's booth will be in the Giant Expo Center and will feature a truck driving simulation video game for visitors to try.
PMTA is looking for members to volunteer to staff the booth for four hour shifts. You can claim your spot here. PMTA will reimburse any parking fees incurred while volunteering at the booth.
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