Regional News

COVID Hammers Consumer Confidence in Pittsburgh

The COVID-19 pandemic has beaten down southwestern Pennsylvania’s confidence in the local and national economies, employment and personal finances. Even with sentiment rising in the past two months, the outlook of most consumers remains bleak. Confidence has swung wildly since March as consumers for the first time learned what life is like during a global …

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COVID Decks Pittsburgh’s Pro Sports Teams

With stands empty and uncertainty over when and if fans will return, Pittsburgh’s professional sports franchises are bracing for heavy financial shortfalls. Thanks to lucrative media contracts, some pro sports leagues are less vulnerable than others. But overall, the loss of revenue from ticket and concessions sales at stadiums and arenas is a critical hit …

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Domestic Abuse Concerns Rise as the Pandemic Drags On

As the coronavirus gripped the world in the spring, United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres warned of another “shadow” pandemic that could not be slowed by masks or hand washing. “We know lockdowns and quarantines are essential to suppressing COVID-19, but they can trap women with abusive partners,” Guterres said on April 5. “Over the past …

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Pittsburgh Gets Fresh Image

A new branding campaign to raise awareness of southwestern Pennsylvania’s charms and promise is making a bid for attention in a world distracted by pandemic. The brand—“Pittsburgh region. Next is now”—positions the region as an iconic and innovative place poised for the future. Unveiled by the Allegheny Conference on Community Development yesterday, the campaign promotes …

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Local Unemployment Eases

The coronavirus pandemic eased its pressure on employment in the region in August, when unemployment in the seven-county Pittsburgh Metropolitan Statistical Area fell to 10.5 percent in August—a drop of 2.3 percentage points from July, according to data from Pennsylvania Department of Labor’s Center for Workforce Information & Analysis program. “The drop in unemployment is …

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School Districts See Changes, but Enrollment Holding Steady

Amid uncertainty and rising economic distress, school districts in the Pittsburgh region are reporting relatively steady enrollment numbers entering the new academic year, although demand for online-only education within districts and among cyber charter schools appears to be on the rise. The reopening of schools has been a hot topic of debate in southwestern Pennsylvania …

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Jobs Slowly Return

The coronavirus pandemic’s attack on the Pittsburgh region’s economy slowed in August. Employers in the seven-county Metropolitan Statistical Area added 6,400 jobs to their payrolls from July 2020 to August 2020, according to recently released data from U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The Pittsburgh region lost about 100,500 jobs between August 2019 and August 2020—a …

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How Allegheny County Spends its $212 Million CARES Package

Allegheny County unveiled a new COVID-19 testing center in McKeesport last week as health officials braced for the confluence of the coronavirus outbreak and the approaching flu season. The center, which can perform 200 tests a day, didn’t cost county taxpayers one dime. It is the highest profile example to date of how the county …

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Unemployment Jumped in July

Unemployment soared in southwestern Pennsylvania last month as the coronavirus pandemic continued to weigh on the local economy. The unemployment rate in the seven-county Pittsburgh Metropolitan Statistical Area rose from 12.8 percent in June to 14.3 percent in July, according to data from Pennsylvania Department of Labor, Center for Workforce Information & Analysis. An estimated …

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Back to School?

Back-to-school shoppers are scooping up tracksuits, vintage 1990s oversized tees and everything tie-dye. But this year, many local students will debut their first day of school outfit on Zoom or coordinate the look with a face mask when they step on the school bus. Since the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted the school year last March, schools …

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Jobs Make up Ground, but Still in Short Supply

Jobs trickled back into the Pittsburgh region in July as many business restrictions aimed at slowing the spread of coronavirus were lifted. The region gained 6,000 jobs in July from June, according to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data. But the boost isn’t enough to bring the region back its pre-pandemic economy. In July, there …

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‘It’s Been Crazy’: Gun Sales Break Records

Gooch Ionadi has seen spikes in gun sales before. He’s come to expect a surge of buyers at his Smoke ‘N Guns shop when a mass shooting rekindles debate over gun control laws. And presidential elections are busy years, as a rule. But nothing compares to the last four months. “I’m seeing little old women, …

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Futurists Mull What Changes Lie Ahead

The Futurists tried to warn us. For decades, researchers and experts in the field of Strategic Foresight, or Futurism, have warned that the United States is dangerously unprepared for a pandemic. The U.S. Government Accountability Office produced dozens of studies on the topic since the early 2000s. A 2004 forecast report from the National Intelligence …

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Voter Registration High Despite Pandemic

Voter registration in southwestern Pennsylvania and across the state could surpass totals seen in the last presidential election year even as the coronavirus disrupts tried-and-true tactics for reaching and registering new voters. With three months left to register, Pennsylvania is 80,000 voters shy of surpassing the total number of registered voters who were eligible to …

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Unemployment Eases and Labor Force Shrinks

The unemployment rate fell across southwestern Pennsylvania in June, when business closures began to ease as the region moved into the “green phase” of pandemic restrictions. But the coronavirus has taken a huge bite out of the local workforce. Pittsburgh’s seven-county metropolitan statistical area posted a seasonally adjusted unemployment rate of 12.5 percent in June. …

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Pittsburgh Renters Have Kept up Their Payments—So Far

On a July Pittsburgh afternoon, temperatures soared into the 90s. Public pools were dry, closed by pandemic restrictions. But for mask-wearing residents trickling out of Eastside Bond, a high-end East Liberty apartment complex, their private outdoor pool offered relief. There are new rules: Masks when not swimming; stay six feet apart in and out of …

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Jobs Shrink 10%

Employers in the Pittsburgh region started adding to their payrolls in May and June. But it was not nearly enough to offset steep job losses over the last 12 months as the coronavirus pandemic continues to weigh on the region’s economy. The seven-county Pittsburgh Metropolitan Statistical Area lost an estimated 116,900 jobs from June 2019 …

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Looking for Answers in the Past to Blunt Pandemic Job Losses

At the entrance of Laurel Hill State Park, a bronze statue of a strapping young worker pays homage to the men who built the verdant park with a lake in Somerset County as part of a federal Citizen Conservation Corps created to ease the pain of crippling job losses during the Great Depression. Almost 90 …

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Local Unemployment Drops, but Rate Remains Staggering

Unemployment in southwestern Pennsylvania fell sharply in May, when the region began to relax social restrictions and reopen businesses that had been closed to stop the spread of the coronavirus. Still, the jobless rate remains at levels rarely seen as the pandemic continued to take its toll on the local economy. The seven-county Pittsburgh Metropolitan …

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Could the Coronavirus Kill the Gasoline Tax?

A crisis in how to pay for roads and bridges with a gasoline tax had been worsening for decades. With Americans traveling less, the coronavirus pandemic is accelerating it. Fifty years ago, when the miles Americans traveled in their cars were soaring, a tax on every gallon of gasoline sold worked as a way pay …

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Pandemic Heats Up Housing Market

The COVID-19 pandemic disrupted business as usual in the residential real estate industry as it swept through the Pittsburgh region in March. It shut the doors on open houses, cancelled showings and stifled home inspections. But it failed to curb demand. A Howard Hanna real estate agent helped a seller stage a home via Facetime …

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Pandemic Slams Pittsburgh Jobs

The COVID-19 pandemic continued its attack on the Pittsburgh metropolitan job market in May with the region losing 175,800 jobs since May 2019, according to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. All of Pittsburgh Today’s 15 benchmark regions posted significant job losses in May. The seven-county Pittsburgh Metropolitan Statistical Area lost 14.6 percent over its jobs …

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