Regional News

Region Gains Jobs; Braces For Infrastructure Surge

Jobs ticked up in the Pittsburgh region in October, but failed to put much of a dent in the number of jobs lost during the pandemic. Employers in the seven-county Pittsburgh Metropolitan Statistical Area added 9,000 more jobs in October than they did one month earlier, according to recent data from the U.S. Bureau of …

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Post-Pandemic Education Survey

More than a year after COVID-19 disrupted the education of 115,000 elementary, middle and high school students in Allegheny County, residents are concerned that it has impeded their progress and favor rethinking the way public schools go about teaching them. According to the results of a new survey, schools generally earn passing grades for the …

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Unemployment, Labor Force Numbers Disappoint

Students returned to college campuses in September, but they failed to trigger a much-needed surge in the southwestern Pennsylvania labor force and employment, according to the latest Pennsylvania Department of Labor data.   At the same time, the region’s unemployment rate moved little, dipping from 6.2 percent in August to 6.1 percent in September – considerably …

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Survey: Businesses Can’t Find Workers

Southwestern Pennsylvania businesses are navigating a rough patch in their recovery from the disruptions caused by the COVID pandemic, with many delaying plans for returning to normal operations and most reporting trouble finding workers to fill open positions, a regional survey suggests. The findings reflect problems reported across the U.S. as the Delta variant of …

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Reforming Education on the Fly

It was against the backdrop of war and pandemic that public education in America underwent radical innovation during the early decades of the 20th century. While the nation endured World War I and the Spanish flu, public education was quietly reshaped by a surge in public school enrollment and a wave of reform. It was …

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Local Unemployment On A Holding Pattern

Southwestern Pennsylvania’s economy held steady in August with the unemployment rate and labor force reaching a plateau, according to the latest Pennsylvania Department of Labor data.   Unemployment in the seven-county Pittsburgh Metropolitan Statistical Area remained at 6.2 percent in August 2021—the same percentage of workers unemployed in the region in July. Although the rate failed …

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Pittsburgh Gets High Marks as a Place for Innovation

Pittsburgh has one of the world’s top emerging startup ecosystems from which companies are born from new ideas, talented innovators and investment in their development, according to a new report. California’s Silicon Valley is still far and away the best ecosystem for startups, followed by London, New York City, Beijing and Boston. But Pittsburgh is …

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Job Growth Declines Again

The number of jobs in southwestern Pennsylvania fell slightly in August, further slowing the regional recovery to pre-pandemic levels. Employers in the seven-county Pittsburgh Metropolitan Statistical Area had 3,100 fewer jobs on their payrolls in August than one month earlier, according to recent data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. This is the second …

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Unemployment Improves but Region Needs More Workers

Employers in the Pittsburgh region added workers to their payrolls in July, but the region’s labor market remained flat, according to the latest Pennsylvania Department of Labor data. Unemployment in the seven-county Pittsburgh Metropolitan Statistical Area dipped from 6.3 percent in June 2021 to 6.2 percent in July, but it is still higher than the …

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Pittsburgh Metro Loses Jobs in July

The seven-county Pittsburgh Metropolitan Statistical Area had 7,700 fewer jobs in July than what employers had on their payrolls a month earlier, according to recent data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. “In normal years, a little bit of decline in the middle of the summer is pretty normal,” said Chris Briem, a regional …

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Few Workers Added to Weak Workforce

The labor market in the Pittsburgh region remained largely stagnant, and unemployment rose slightly in June, according to the latest Pennsylvania Department of Labor data. Unemployment in the seven-county Pittsburgh Metropolitan Statistical Area rose from 5.7 percent in May 2021 to 6.3 percent in June. Despite the uptick, unemployment has significantly improved from a year …

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The Perfect Antidote

Bob Phillips was in Chile fly fishing with a group of clients in early March of last year. For 10 days, he’d been in places that the news of the world didn’t reach. It wasn’t until he boarded the plane for home that he knew something wasn’t right. “Everyone was wearing masks,” he said. “What’s …

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Virus Still Seen as Threat; Consumer Optimism Slows

Southwestern Pennsylvanians don’t believe that the COVID-19 pandemic is over, but continuing to wear a mask is something fewer and fewer are willing to do, a new survey suggests. Meanwhile, consumer confidence in the local economy dipped in June and optimism among residents about their personal financial situations fell for the first time this year. …

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The Curtain Rises, At Last

On an evening in early June, people lounged in camp chairs and blankets on the grass at Point State Park, lines formed at food booths on the edge of the lawn and people stood shoulder-to-shoulder, swaying to the sounds of blues rock and soul music performed by Celisse on the main stage. It was more …

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Region Adds Jobs, but Needs More

The Pittsburgh region welcomed back thousands of jobs in June but will need sustained gains to climb back to pre-pandemic employment levels. The seven-county Pittsburgh Metropolitan Statistical Area gained 57,800 jobs from June 2020 to June 2021, including 9,300 jobs since May 2021. “Jobs are up more than you would seasonally expect here for the …

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Unemployment Falls and Labor Force Plunges

Unemployment fell sharply in southwestern Pennsylvania last month. But the good news is tempered by continued contraction of the regional labor force, which plunged to its lowest level since June 1991, according to the latest Pennsylvania Department of Labor data. Unemployment in the seven-county Pittsburgh Metropolitan Statistical Area dropped one full percentage point — from …

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Pandemic’s Disruptive Path Still Haunts the Unemployed

Fallout from the pandemic is discouraging a significant number of unemployed southwestern Pennsylvanians from looking for work, even as businesses reopen and COVID cases decline, according to a recent survey. Caring for children, dependent older adults and others was the most common reason for not looking for work that was given by unemployed workers who …

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As Unemployment Falls, Local Labor Force Stalls

Unemployment in southwestern Pennsylvania ticked down in April, but the region’s labor force failed to grow much beyond where it was a year earlier, when it had shrunk during the height of pandemic-related business closures and restrictions. Unemployment in the seven-county Pittsburgh Metropolitan Statistical Area dipped from 7.6 percent in March 2021 to 7.4 percent …

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Pandemic Population Shifts, Favoring Affordable Places

Stephan Whitaker listened as speculation that COVID-19 might kindle a profound exodus from urban America intensified as the pandemic dragged on. After all, tens of millions of people were forced to work remotely, leaving them less tethered to the workplace than ever before and freer to move. Whitaker, a policy economist at the Federal Reserve …

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Seasonal Hiring Boosts Local Jobs

Seasonal jobs returned to the Pittsburgh region in April, but a snap back to a pre-pandemic economy remains elusive, according the most recent data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.  The seven-county Pittsburgh Metropolitan Statistical Area gained 15,200 jobs from March to April 2021 — a 1.4 percent gain, according to the BLS. “It’s …

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Vaccinations, Fewer Cases Brighten COVID Outlook

Last month saw more encouraging signs that southwestern Pennsylvania is turning the corner in the battle to regain normalcy after a year of living under the COVID-19 pandemic. More than 2 of 3 people have been vaccinated against COVID in Allegheny County, one of the highest rates in Pennsylvania, according to state Health Department data. …

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Consumer Confidence Trending up in Region

Confidence in the economy and their personal financial situation is rising among consumers in southwestern Pennsylvania as pandemic restrictions on businesses ease and the COVID vaccine reaches more people. But confidence in the local economy and their own employment outlook remain much lower than before the pandemic, despite the recent surge in optimism, according to …

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