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Wed Jul 22, 2020, 08:15 AM

'The sleepers are waking up': hope for Democrats in city that backed Trump

‘The sleepers are waking up’: hope for Democrats in city that backed Trump
President Trump’s re-election plan had relied on bringing jobs back to cities like Erie, Pennsylvania, which has had its hopes of economic resurgence rocked by the pandemic

Jessica Goodheart
Wed 22 Jul 2020 03.00 EDT

(Guardian UK) Hopes had been high in the US lakeside city of Erie that this was going to be its “year to shine”, with millions of dollars of investment and the mayor unveiling a plan for new “family-sustaining jobs”.

In January, the city’s mayor unveiled a plan to develop new apartments and office buildings in the Bayfront area of the city, Pennsylvania’s third-largest, which sits on the south of Lake Erie and is home to about 100,000 people and a major port.

Then, in late March, “commerce came to a crashing halt,” the editorial board of GoErie, the local paper of record, lamented, as the county was placed under a stay-at-home order due to the pandemic.

More bad news would follow. In late April, the local Wabtec plant permanently laid off 300 frontline workers who make locomotives, saying national rail traffic was down 10%. By mid-May the unemployment rate was about 13%, up from 3.6% the prior year. .............(more)


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