Monday, September 27, 2010

Construction Jobs Pittsburgh

With the Great Recession over, where are the construction jobs? Don't look anywhere in Florida. Forget Las Vegas and even Chicago. Ladies and gentlemen, your post-recession boomtowns:

Thirty-seven metro areas added jobs during that period. Kansas City, Kan., added the most jobs at 2,500, followed by Pittsburgh, which added 2,000 jobs. More cities added construction jobs during the past year than at any point since September 2008, according to a press release about the data.

Of course, "boom" is a relative term. The dominant story is still the depth of the real estate bust. You can read the press release here.

Another destination for construction workers is Chattanooga, Tennessee. Pittsburgh and Chattanooga have a lot in common, including similar tales of urban revitalization:

According to the World Resources Institute, Chattanooga’s pollution in the 1960s and 1970s was so bad that “drivers had to turn their lights on in the middle of the day, and the mountain ridges often could not be seen from the city below.”

Community groups, business leaders and government officials rallied to bring the city into compliance with the 1970 Clean Air Act, and efforts to preserve the area’s unique natural appeal continue today, according to Mac McGee, nine-year owner of Choo Choo Fly Fishing.

A Chattanooga native and avid fisherman, he’s watched firsthand as the city discarded its Rust Belt roots for a greener, cleaner environment since he bought the store, which was founded in 1977.

“Twenty years ago, you didn’t have people discussing how to create more quality trout fishing sections on our local rivers. Now we have delayed-harvest sections on two of the rivers” that help protect species from overfishing, he said.

The increased business from the cleaner environment has helped to offset the economic downturn’s pressure on his business, McGee added.

Remade Rust Belt cities are winners of the major economic reshuffling over the past two years. I expect that trend to remain strong and begin to dominate the domestic migration landscape. Creative Class geography is finished.

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