Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Hot Job Growth In Pittsburgh

Economic migrants are poised to move to hot job markets. As the recovery picks up speed (if it picks up speed), then we would expect geographic mobility to increase. Human capital tends to remain risk averse a bit longer than financial capital coming out of a recession. Where will the talent be going? EMSI lists the top prospects:

This post details net job growth in the 100 most populous metro areas from a) 2001 to 2010 and from b) 2009 to 2010. This allowed us to isolate how cities fared in a key post-recession year and for a much longer period.

After running the numbers using EMSI’s first quarter 2011 dataset, we’ve put the largest 100 metros into four categories:

  • Hot — These select cities performed well from 2001 to 2010 overall, and they saw net job growth from 2009 to 2010.
  • Heating Up — This is an even more select group that struggled as a whole through the decade but are now on the uptick and adding jobs.
  • Cooling Down — This group saw job growth in the early part of the decade but lost jobs in the last year (2009 to 2010).
  • Cold — These cities, many of which sit in the Rust Belt, have shown net job loss in the decade — and from 2009 to 2010.

I'll tease you to click on the link to view the lists. Albeit late to the party, in the midst of Rust Belt cold is Pittsburgh hot. In terms of job growth percentage among hot cities from '09 to '10, Pittsburgh trailed only Boston and Chattanooga.

By my count, there are only 18 "hot" cities. 4 are "heating up". The other 78 are either "cooling down" or "cold". That puts Pittsburgh in some elite company, in a good way, and makes the metro a major destination for job seekers. Given that Pittsburgh is relatively close to a bunch of cold cities (the power of proximity), it stands to reason that economics migrants who are able will choose Southwestern Pennsylvania as a destination.

Just so happens that today I'm blogging this post from a car parked in the Strip District. I spent the latter half of the morning exploring some of Pittsburgh's more obscure neighborhoods (e.g. Troy Hill). I think the funky topography, along with the endless nooks and crannies, will appeal to outsiders. Once the word gets out, the rush will be on.

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