Thursday, March 12, 2009

Pittsburgh Labor Watch: Second Report

Keeping track of economic counter-trends in Greater Pittsburgh, Chris Briem notes that Pittsburgh is experiencing an increase of construction costs while the rest of the country reflects the slack in demand for new buildings. A commenter speculates about the need for labor in-migration to keep up with the various stimulus projects in the pipeline. If you are an unemployed construction worker, then you might consider Pittsburgh as a good destination.

Nationally, there are still talent shortages despite the number of stories disparaging rising unemployment. The word from Pittsburgh:

Corporations such as Pittsburgh-based Westinghouse Electric Company and GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy are hiring engineers and adding other workers as they expand manufacturing facilities, according to the Nuclear Energy Institute, a trade group. (GE Hitachi is a partnership between General Electric Co. and Tokyo-based Hitachi Ltd.)

But job-seekers beware. Pittsburgh is still an insular employment market and competition for scarce positions is only getting more fierce. Personal connections are landing interviews given the deep talent pools. However, those currently residing in Pittsburgh and struggling to make ends meet are in a good place to ride out the depression. I recommend exploring labor mobility options at local colleges or universities. Extra schooling is a great place to network and hit the ground running when the economy begins to recover.

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