Building on the good jobs news we reported earlier this month, February preliminary job numbers show that Pittsburgh had the highest job growth rate for a second straight month. The year-over-year increase was 2.18 percent or 23,700 jobs, the highest of any region. In addition, the two-year job growth rate was positive for the first time since perhaps the recession began.Of particular note, private jobs were up 2.46 percent, goods-producing jobs were up 3.18 percent and service jobs were up 2.04 percent. Natural resources, mining and construction was up an astounding 7.17 percent, and leisure and hospitality jobs were up 4.62 percent. In fact, every sector had year-over-year gains except for Information.
The Marcellus Shale boom appears to be showing up (about time) in the employment numbers. The two-year job growth rate is also worth discussing. The Pittsburgh region is the only benchmark metro to post gains. Only Boston comes close. The rest suffer from significant job losses. The benchmark average is -1.78%.
Finally, I'll underwrite the above data with a glowing anecdote in yesterday's New York Post:
Never mind that it’s half empty — of all the half-empty Rust Belt cities, none wear diminished status as comfortably as Pittsburgh. It is the master of keeping up appearances. The downtown, known as the Golden Triangle, remains one of the country’s best-planned and most walkable, with one pleasant streetscape after another. In some ways, it is like a mini-New York, streets filled with people on sunny weekdays, pouring off buses and a little subway in the mornings and back on at night. Pittsburgh feels busy, alive. Industry has given way to research, health care, education, the arts. Smart people are moving in or moving home. The city feels young again, promising, like a place that has a future, one brighter than just about any of its contemporaries.
Talent is flocking to Pittsburgh, where the jobs are.