State Senator Jay Costa spoke with others about improving work conditions.

By: KDKA-TV News Staff

HARRISBURG (KDKA) — This morning, State Senator Jay Costa from Allegheny County joined other state officials to discuss what they called the “labor shortage myth.”

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Pennsylvania unemployment stands at about 7.1%.

Senator Art Haywood from Philadelphia acknowledged many employers are struggling to find employees at the moment.

However, he said that the issue comes down to changing labor conditions, Including for people refusing to return to workplaces they feel are unsafe, like restaurants.

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Senator Costa said many changes were needed before the pandemic, and now, working parents in particular are in critical need.

“Having to force folks into the decision between continuing to work or staying at home to care for a child full-time is simply unacceptable,” Costa said.

Costa and the other state officials also called to raise Pennsylvania’s minimum wage to $15/hour.

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It has been at the federal minimum of $7.25/hour since 2009.