The Pittsburgh region closed out 2018 with an uptick in employment opportunities as employers added 17,100 jobs in December, a year-over-year increase of 0.8 percent dating to December 2017, according to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data.
Unemployment fell in November throughout southwestern Pennsylvania, continuing the downward trend seen for most of 2018. But peer regions did a better job whittling away at their unemployment rates, as has also been the case over the past year.
Taxes on sugary beverages seem like a sweet deal with their potential to whittle down obesity and diabetes rates while boosting city revenues to help pay for things like better schools and parks. Yet, they require broad public and political support to adopt over industry opposition.
Improving city schools and parks may not have been novel campaign promises, but when it came to funding such aspirations, Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney had something new to say. He championed the Philadelphia Beverage Tax, a 1.5-cents-per-ounce tax on sweetened beverages to help fund schools, pre-kindergarten classes, parks and libraries.