Regional News

Job Growth Declines, Bucking Recent Trends

After several years of steady, if tepid, employment growth, the Pittsburgh region lost 3,000 jobs over the latest 12-month period reported by the U.S. Bureau of Labor statistics. From October 2018 until October 2019, overall job growth declined by .25 percent in the seven-county Pittsburgh Metropolitan Statistical Area. “It’s a quarter of a percent, but …

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City Parks Fell Short in Funding Until Voters Said OK to New Tax

When City of Pittsburgh residents voted to raise their property taxes to support public parks earlier this month, they chipped away at a major obstacle to the city park system being rated as one of the best in urban America. Voters in November approved a referendum for a .5-mill property tax increase for capital improvements …

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An Answer from Abroad

If southwestern Pennsylvania is going to pull out of its long population slump, it’s likely going to happen with people like Khara Timsina. He arrived in Pittsburgh 10 years ago, one of fewer than 300 Bhutanese refugees resettled from camps in Nepal, where they had lived after being driven from their homeland during a period …

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The Economics of Population

Last spring, the U.S. Census Bureau released data showing that the City of Pittsburgh and Allegheny County once again lost population. In what has become a ritual, public officials were pressed by reporters to respond. County Executive Rich Fitzgerald suggested not reading too much into the latest of a long string of down years. Pittsburgh …

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Stuck in Traffic

Motorists in the Pittsburgh Metropolitan Statistical Area spent nearly two days of their lives sitting in traffic in 2017, according to new data from the Texas Transportation Institute. Overall, annual delays per traveler on local roads rose from 39 hours in 2014 to 46 hours in 2017, an increase of 18 percent. Still, delays in …

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Wolf Wants Pot Legalized, Most Local Residents Agree

When Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf recently announced his support for legalizing recreational use of marijuana among adults, he echoed the sentiments of the majority of people living in the most populous county in southwestern Pennsylvania. Medical marijuana dispensaries began opening across southwestern Pennsylvania last year after Pennsylvania joined nearly two thirds of U.S. states by …

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A Slight Dip, but Workforce Numbers Hold Steady

Despite a slight increase in the unemployment rates, overall workforce trends in the Pittsburgh Metropolitan Statistical Area continued to mostly hold steady through September, according to preliminary figures from the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry. Overall unemployment for the seven county region stands at 4.0 percent, an increase of one tenth of a percentage …

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Region Adds Jobs, But Growth Slows

Employers in southwestern Pennsylvania continued to boost their payrolls in September, but at a slower pace than what has characterized the regional job market over the past year. The seven-county Pittsburgh Metropolitan Statistical Area added 1,100 jobs from September 2018 to September 2019 – a 0.09 percent year-over-year increase, according to new data from the …

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How Age Colors Views About the Environment

The air seems cleaner and the water fresher to middle-aged residents and seniors in Allegheny County, the urban center of southwestern Pennsylvania that has had its share of environmental struggles. A pronounced age gap separates the perspectives of residents across a spectrum of environmental issues ranging from air and water quality and the impact of …

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Workforce Expands, Unemployment Remains Low

The Pittsburgh region’s August unemployment rate bumped from 3.8 percent in July to 3.9, hovering above the national rate but still among the lowest rates in the last 50 years. Year-over-year, the region’s unemployment was down 0.3 percent from 4.2 percent in August 2018, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry. Butler County …

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Job Growth Slows

For the second consecutive month, job growth has slowed in southwestern Pennsylvania, and its peer regions posted job growth rates that are among the lowest of the year, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The silver lining is that jobs still grew in southwestern Pennsylvania and nearly all the of Pittsburgh Today’s 16 …

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Can Higher Garbage Pickup Fees Reduce Consumption and Waste?

The United States is in the midst of a recycling crisis. Decades of recycling haven’t curbed America’s appetite to consume. It’s increasingly difficult to find someone willing to buy the soda cans, old magazines, milk jugs and pickle jars we recycle. Recycling is getting more expensive. And municipalities are shrinking their recycling programs. “We’re in …

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Unemployment Drops—Labor Force Grows

Southwestern Pennsylvania’s unemployment rate remained below 4 percent in July, hovering slightly higher than the national average as job seekers in the region and across the U.S. continued to find work. Unemployment in the region remained at rates that haven’t been seen since the early months of 1970. The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in the …

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Job Growth Stalls

Employers in southwestern Pennsylvania hit the brakes on job creation in the region last month. The seven-county Pittsburgh Metropolitan Statistical Area added only 800 jobs from July 2018 and July 2019—a 0.1 percent year-over-year increase, according to new data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. It is the lowest growth rate among Pittsburgh Today’s …

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State’s Innovation Economy Needs a Boost to Compete

Southwestern Pennsylvania’s innovation economy, bolstered by its major research universities, is brimming with potential. But the region and Pennsylvania has its work cut out for them if they want to compete with the likes of San Francisco, Boston and emerging stars, such as Austin, Texas. And realizing that potential begins with a statewide plan and …

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Low Unemployment Settles in the Region

Unemployment in southwestern Pennsylvania held steady in June, hovering below 4 percent as it has for the past few months as workers across the region and nation continue to find and hold onto jobs. In year-over-year comparisons, the seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate in the seven-county Pittsburgh Metropolitan Statistical Area fell from 4.2 percent in June 2018 …

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Job Growth Slowly Rises

More jobs were added to payrolls in the Pittsburgh region in June, but not at the hot pace of the rest of the nation. The seven-county Pittsburgh Metropolitan Statistical Area added 9,800 jobs from June 2018 and June 2019—a 0.9 percent year-over-year increase, according to new data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. That …

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Low Unemployment Continues

Workers in southwestern Pennsylvania continue to find jobs as the region notched another month of unemployment below 4 percent in May. The region’s 3.8 percent unemployment rate held over from April, but still hovers above the national average. May continued the year-to-date trend of unemployment diving to depths the region hasn’t seen since the early …

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Local Job Growth Ticks Upward

Employers in southwestern Pennsylvania continued to boost their payrolls in May at a slow but steady pace that has characterized the regional job market over the past few years. The seven-county Pittsburgh Metropolitan Statistical Area added 9,100 jobs from May 2018 and May 2019 – a 0.9 percent year-over-year increase, according to new data from …

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Broken Glass: Recycling Bottles Becomes a Challenge

Kathy Hrabovsky recalls a time in her childhood when she would take glass bottles back to the drug store in exchange for a nickel. She remembers the refund was just enough to buy a piece of candy. At 59, Hrabovsky is again lugging glass far beyond her curbside in Mt. Lebanon to be recycled. The …

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Pittsburgh Air Pollution Report: Particulates Drop, Ozone Rises

Levels of fine particulate air pollution, long an issue in southwestern Pennsylvania, fell in 2018, while ground-level ozone, whose concentrations had been waning in recent years, ticked upward amid concerns that natural gas drilling may be contributing to the rise. Fine particulates, also know as PM2.5, are microscopic airborne particles that can penetrate deep into …

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Encouraging Trend: Unemployment Drops in Region

Southwestern Pennsylvania’s unemployment rate dropped to less than 4 percent in April, hovering slightly higher than the national average as workers in the region and nation continue to find little difficulty finding jobs. Unemployment in the region again fell to rates that haven’t been seen since the early 1970s. The seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate in the …

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