Regional News

Pittsburgh Region’s Labor Force Shrinks Dramatically (and Unemployment Rises)

The Pittsburgh region’s unemployment rate climbed and thousands of workers in the region left the labor force in January as the COVID-19 pandemic continued batter the local economy. Unemployment rose from 6.8 percent in December to 7.6 percent in January, Pennsylvania labor data suggests. The January increase is more dramatic when compared to January 2020, …

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As More Get Vaccinated, Local Hesitancy Subsides

The number of southwestern Pennsylvanians open to being vaccinated against the COVID-19 virus is surging as the local vaccine rollout gains steam and public hesitancy wanes, even among those who had been steadfast in their refusal to get the shots, a new survey suggests. But the increased willingness to get vaccinated coincides with widespread dissatisfaction …

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Jobs Report Bleak

Job losses in the Pittsburgh region continued to mount in January, and revised data reveal that the troubling losses experienced across industry sectors last year were worse than first reported, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The seven-county Pittsburgh Metropolitan Statistical Area lost about 85,000 jobs between January 2020 and January 2021 — …

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Allegheny County Meets Air-Quality Standard for First Time in Decades

After lagging most of the nation for decades, Allegheny County has managed to meet the minimum federal health standard for one of the most harmful of the major air pollutants, county health department data suggest. Levels of fine particulate pollution, known as PM2.5, averaged 11.1 micrograms per cubic meter of air over the last three …

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Pandemic Saps Confidence in Jobs Outlook, Economy

Concern about their jobs and the local and national economies is widespread among people in southwestern Pennsylvania as the COVID-19 pandemic drags into its second year. In January, their confidence in all three fell to some of the lowest levels since the region’s first case of the coronavirus was reported 11 months ago, a new …

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Getting Vaccinated Gains Popularity

Supplies are short and the roll-out of the COVID-19 vaccine is slow, but the willingness to get the shots is sharply rising across southwestern Pennsylvania, a new survey suggests. And hesitancy over getting vaccinated is fading the most among non-whites. Some 60 percent of southwestern Pennsylvanians said they were ready to get the shot in …

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Workers Lose Jobs, Labor Force Shrinks

Thousands of workers continued to exit the southwestern Pennsylvania labor force, and the local unemployment rate ticked upward as the pandemic year of 2020 drew to a close. The seven-county Pittsburgh Metropolitan Statistical Area’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate rose from 6.7 percent in November to 6.8 percent in December 2020, according to the Pennsylvania Department …

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Local COVID Cases Trail Benchmark Regions

COVID-19 infections slowed last month in Allegheny County, keeping the rate of new cases of the coronavirus below the national average and lower than most metropolitan counties. But the encouraging drop in new infections following the New Year holiday is tempered by frustration over a slow roll-out of the two available vaccines and concern over …

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Job Losses Mount

The Pittsburgh region shed more jobs in December, offering further evidence that the local economy’s recovery from the coronavirus recession has slowed. The seven-county Pittsburgh Metropolitan Statistical Area lost 5,300 jobs from November to December last year, according to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data. And employers shed 86,300 workers from their payrolls in November …

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People Are Finding New Pandemic Diversions—Both Outdoors and In

Restaurants, bars and movie theaters were shuttered. Kennywood wrapped up its season more than a month early. The Pirates banned fans. The Steelers banned tailgating. COVID-19 has upended many favorite social, cultural and leisure pastimes that offered southwestern Pennsylvanians moments of respite. But at the same time, pandemic-related disruptions of traditional entertainment have fueled surging …

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Unemployment Drops to 6.5 Percent

The seven-county Pittsburgh Metropolitan Statistical Area’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell from 7.2 percent in October to 6.5 percent in November, according to Pennsylvania Department of Labor Center for Workforce Information & Analysis program data. “The unemployment rate is high, but not exceptional,” said Chris Briem, regional economist at the University of Pittsburgh Center for …

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As Local Virus Cases Surge, Other Regions Fare Worse

The surge in COVID-19 cases continued in December across southwestern Pennsylvania, where all but one county saw infections rise, some dramatically. Still, the region fared better than most in metropolitan America. Meanwhile, new survey data suggests the number of southwestern Pennsylvanians willing to get vaccinated against the virus increased during November, when two drug makers …

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Consumer Worries Mount as Pandemic Toll Worsens

Southwestern Pennsylvania businesses face the prospect of a rough holiday season with a large share of shoppers expecting to spend less than they did last year as the relentless COVID-19 pandemic continues to wear down consumer confidence. Confidence in the economy, personal finances and prospects for employment fell in November to some of the lowest …

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Jobs Climb Slowly in November

Employers in the seven-county Pittsburgh Metropolitan Statistical Area added 1,300 jobs to their payrolls from October 2020 to November 2020. But the bump in hiring still left the region 85,900 jobs short of the number on the books in November 2019, which is a 7.3 percent decline, according to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data. …

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Pitt Scientists Gain on COVID

In February, University of Pittsburgh scientists began scanning their library of human antibodies for any that might have the potential to tame the novel COVID-19 virus. With some 1 trillion antibodies to sort through, it was like looking for a needle in a haystack. They found one in less than a week using techniques that …

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Unemployment Drops Again in October

The seven-county Pittsburgh Metropolitan Statistical Area’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell from 8.3 percent in September to 7.2 percent in October, according to data from the Pennsylvania Department of Labor Center for Workforce Information & Analysis program. “7.2 percent is high, but is not extraordinary,” said Chris Briem, regional economist at the University of Pittsburgh …

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CEOs Back a Sustainable Post-COVID Economy

As the pandemic rages on, a group of Pittsburgh business leaders is considering how to contribute to a more environmentally, economically and socially sustainable region in the post-COVID world. “Now is the time for businesses from all sectors to make public their actions toward an economic recovery that benefits everyone,” said Steve Malnight, president and …

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Empty and Ailing, Pittsburgh Stadiums Seek Money

With the pandemic keeping fans at home, Pittsburgh’s major sports teams are facing significant revenue declines for the year. However, to varying degrees, merchandise and media revenues are softening the blow. Their landlord—The Sport and Exhibition Authority (SEA)—is not as fortunate. The SEA is the city-county authority that owns PPG Paints Arena, PNC Park and …

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Pittsburgh Jobs Creep Back in October

Employers in the seven-county Pittsburgh Metropolitan Statistical Area added 11,900 jobs from September to October, according to data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. While the gains are encouraging, it remains a bruising year in terms of local payrolls. The Pittsburgh region lost about 86,000 jobs between October 2019 and October 2020—a 7.1 percent …

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Stayin’ Alive

Santa is having a tough year. Finding a job has never been harder. The jobs he lands will likely involve a plexiglass shield separating him from the starry-eyed children with long wish lists they want to share. If he appears in person at all. In some cases, he may have to go virtual. In any …

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Pandemic Tests Resiliency of State’s Small Businesses

Most small businesses in southwestern Pennsylvania and across the state have found ways to adapt to COVID-related sales losses, social restrictions and other bruising conditions. But the lingering pandemic has darkened their outlook. Nearly one third of business leaders doubt conditions will return to pre-pandemic levels even after the virus is tamed, according to a …

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Local COVID Cases Are Second-Lowest Among Benchmark Regions

COVID-19 cases rose 29 percent in Allegheny County during the first two weeks of the month. Still, the county’s infection rate is only half the national average—an indication of how cities and towns across the United States are struggling to blunt the most aggressive surge of the coronavirus since the pandemic began nine months ago. …

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