It's time we take a look at the real jobs numbers in Pennsylvania, including the Southeast, and recognize how Gov. Corbett's initiatives are making a positive impact on our state's economy by consistently adding jobs.

Total nonfarm jobs were up 8,700 in February (the most recent month available) to 5,766,000 due to gains in both the private and public sectors. Jobs were up 24,600 over the year, and up 101,100 since January 2011. In February, Pennsylvania's jobs count was at its highest level since October 2008. Service-providing jobs reached a record high. So did leisure & hospitality, and professional & business services. Our economy is experiencing record growth in these areas.

Pennsylvania suffered far fewer job losses during the Great Recession than did many other states. From December 2007 to its lowest jobs level during the recession, Pennsylvania lost just 4.3 percent of all its jobs—the 12th smallest loss among the states. Our diverse economy helped us then and it continues to help us now. We have added jobs on a consistent basis for the past four years.

In Philadelphia, where saving the refineries spared thousands of jobs, we see even more positive numbers. Over the month, over the year and since Governor Corbett took office, jobs and employment numbers are increasing and unemployment and the unemployment rate are decreasing. These are extremely positive signs for the economy of the state and the Southeast.

Julia K. Hearthway, secretary, Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry, Harrisburg