January 010, 1997
In the last five years Pennsylvania has lost 510 companies and 6,500 jobs, the fifth-worst record in America, according to a study released this week by Dun & Bradstreet, a New Jersey-based business information company. Both political parties issued quick statements - the Democrats calling it a sign that Gov. Tom Ridge's economic-development plans have failed and Republicans calling the study "100 percent false."
If you like simple answers, we're sorry, but the subject is more complicated than anyone suggests. Both sides are wrong in their premature conclusions about what the study means.
How can we be sure? Because of the way the study was done. Dun & Bradstreet officials compared addresses of companies over a five-year period. Companies which listed a Pennsylvania address in 1991 and an address in another state in 1995 were counted as companies lost. In the same way, companies whose address changed from (for example) New York to Pennsylvania were counted as companies and jobs gained.