Wednesday, March 28, 2012

US Employment Recovery

In terms of employment, most of the United States is a long way away from complete recovery. There are a few exceptions. Pittsburgh is one of them:

Only Austin, Boston, Dallas, El Paso, Grand Rapids, Hartford, Houston, Knoxville, Louisville, Madison, McAllen, Nashville, New Orleans, Ogden, Oklahoma City, Omaha, Pittsburgh, Provo, Rochester, San Antonio, San Jose, Springfield, Washington, and Worcester regained more than half of the jobs they had lost between their pre-recession high and their post-recession low, while 23 additional large metropolitan areas regained at least a quarter of the jobs they lost in the recession. Only Austin, El Paso, Houston, McAllen, Pittsburgh, and Worcester made a complete jobs recovery by the third quarter.

Emphasis added. Just six metros out of the largest 100 have recovered from the recession. Both Pittsburgh and Worcester have been making rapid advances in educational attainment rates. According to Brookings, the two metros are "Skilled Anchors" as opposed to the "Industrial Core" uncritically applied to any Rust Belt city. I think that goes a long way in explaining the "not-in-Texas" exception.

Unless someone has evidence to the contrary, there are more people working in Pittsburgh now than at any time in its history. Domestic migration is positive. More people are moving in than out. The workforce is getting smarter and younger. Everywhere you look in the city, you will find an improving urban fabric. Each time I visit, the vitality is more palpable. Pittsburgh didn't bust and now it is booming.

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