Thursday, July 28, 2011

Update: Peak Employment Pittsburgh

Back in April, I blogged about Pittsburgh's peak employment numbers. The benchmark occurred in 2008 with 1,128,000 nonfarm jobs. Now for today's news:

A survey of employers in the seven-county region, also showed there were 1.155 million jobs in June, 13,600 more than a year ago.

The manufacturing sector added 1,200 in June to reach 90,700 jobs. It's the first time the region's manufacturing sector has had more than 90,000 jobs since March 2009, when there were 90,600. There were 3,200 more construction jobs, increasing the total to 54,300.

Chris Briem (Null Space) has more on this story. Pittsburgh continues to buck the national trend in positive terms. The region is about 12k jobs off the pre-recession peak and on track for full recovery in 2011. Energy Burrito helps to put this in perspective:

The US unemployment rate is currently 9.2% (vs. 9.5% at the same time last year). That said, the labor force participation rate is at 64.1%, its lowest level since March 1984 (when Jump by Van Halen spent the majority of the month as Billboard #1). The low participation rate is because people are so disenchanted they are dropping out of the jobs pool. Not good.

I would like to know what the labor force participation rate is in Pittsburgh. Rewinding to 1984 reveals a mirror image of today. At that time, Pittsburgh was lagging well behind the rest of the country in terms of recovery. Now the region is out in front, a staggering turnaround in the chronically recessed Rust Belt.


Jay B. said...

Only if we believe the official numbers to be relevant - the number of unemployed people is always higher as the statistics take into account only unemployed people receiving unemployment benefits.

Jim Russell said...

Jay B.,

Apples-to-apples here. Things are worse than the numbers indicate, but the relative prosperity is very real.