Regional News

Desperate for Affordable Housing, Cities Try Rewriting Zoning Laws

The last Penn Plaza apartments were vacated on a cold February day in 2017, ending an exodus of 200 tenants from one of the largest complexes of affordable housing in Pittsburgh. News that the private owner planned to raze the apartments to accommodate upscale development caught the city off guard a year earlier and taxed …

Desperate for Affordable Housing, Cities Try Rewriting Zoning Laws Read More »

Local Unemployment Slides Lower

Unemployment fell in November throughout southwestern Pennsylvania, continuing the downward trend seen for most of 2018. But peer regions did a better job whittling away at their unemployment rates, as has also been the case over the past year. The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for the Pittsburgh Metropolitan Statistical Area fell .7 percent, from 4.9 …

Local Unemployment Slides Lower Read More »

Local Jobs Growing Slowly

Employers in southwestern Pennsylvania continued to add to their payrolls as 2018 comes to a close. But they did so at a slower pace than most other peer regions. The seven-county Pittsburgh Metropolitan Statistical Area gained 10,000 jobs between November 2017 and November 2018—a .9 percent year-over-year increase, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics data. …

Local Jobs Growing Slowly Read More »

The Quality of Life Survey Results Are In

Allegheny County residents say their quality of life has improved since they were last surveyed seven years ago, with more of them reporting rising incomes and expressing greater confidence in the local economy. Pittsburgh’s bid to become Amazon’s new headquarters gets a thumbs-up from a majority of county residents, who also favor loosening the reins …

The Quality of Life Survey Results Are In Read More »

Paychecks on the Rise

Wages in southwestern Pennsylvania are rising steadily. In fact, the rate of increase was greater than all but two of the 15 Pittsburgh Today’s benchmark regions in the second quarter of 2018. The average weekly wage in the seven-county Pittsburgh Metropolitan Statistical Area was $1,042 in the second quarter of 2018, according to the latest …

Paychecks on the Rise Read More »

Housing Prices Rise

Housing prices in the Pittsburgh region continue to climb, but not at the same rate as the hot real estate markets in some of Pittsburgh Today’s benchmark regions. Houses in the seven-county Pittsburgh Metropolitan Statistical Area appreciated 6.23 percent from the 3rd quarter in 2017 to the 3rd quarter this year, according to data from …

Housing Prices Rise Read More »

Soda Tax Works in Philly, but Officials Here Aren’t Sure They Can Do It

Taxes on sugary beverages seem like a sweet deal with their potential to whittle down obesity and diabetes rates while boosting city revenues to help pay for things like better schools and parks. Yet, they require broad public and political support to adopt over industry opposition. Philadelphia, San Francisco and Seattle and several other cities …

Soda Tax Works in Philly, but Officials Here Aren’t Sure They Can Do It Read More »

Airing Concern

Historically lower ozone pollution levels in southwestern Pennsylvania do not impress residents of Allegheny County whose concern is rising over the quality of the air they breathe. Seven years ago, air quality wasn’t a problem in the minds of 47 percent of county residents. Today, only 32 percent of Allegheny County residents share that view, …

Airing Concern Read More »

Unemployment Stays Low

Southwestern Pennsylvania still enjoys relatively low unemployment, but the region’s rate remains higher than the national average. The Pittsburgh Metropolitan Statistical Area’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate decreased from 4.8 percent in October 2017 to 4.2 percent in October 2018, according to recently released data from the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry. The U.S. unemployment rate was 3.7 percent in October. “The nation’s unemployment …

Unemployment Stays Low Read More »

Healthier, Wealthier and Wiser: Are Cities with Soda Taxes Better Off?

Improving city schools and parks may not have been novel campaign promises, but when it came to funding such aspirations, Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney had something new to say. He championed the Philadelphia Beverage Tax, a 1.5-cents-per-ounce tax on sweetened beverages to help fund schools, pre-kindergarten classes, parks and libraries. Last year, Philadelphia became the …

Healthier, Wealthier and Wiser: Are Cities with Soda Taxes Better Off? Read More »

Region Adds Jobs

Pittsburgh may have lost its bid for Amazon’s second headquarters, but the region picked up more jobs in October. The Pittsburgh region gained 10,869 jobs between October 2017 and October 2018, a 1.3 percent increase over the year, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Other regions, however, continued to add jobs at …

Region Adds Jobs Read More »

Scrimping to Get By

Paying their housing costs is a struggle for an alarming number of Americans across the country and Allegheny County is no exception. Nearly one-third of Americans spend at least 30 percent of their income on housing. The number of households dealing with such costs has risen from 16 million in 2001 to more than 38 …

Scrimping to Get By Read More »

State Store Monopoly Wins Few Hearts

If it were up to them, Allegheny County residents would put an end to Pennsylvania’s state store system, which has given the state a monopoly on the sale of wine and spirits since the repeal of prohibition. And that feeling is widespread, according to a survey conducted by Pittsburgh Today and the University of Pittsburgh …

State Store Monopoly Wins Few Hearts Read More »

The Gerrymandering Fix

Pennsylvania voters go to the polls Tuesday in congressional districts redrawn by state Supreme Court justices who decided the old boundaries unconstitutionally favored one political party over another. While Allegheny County residents agree gerrymandering is a problem, most favor a different way of going about making sure it doesn’t occur again. The state’s high court …

The Gerrymandering Fix Read More »

Unemployment Slides Lower

September ended with another month of low unemployment in the Pittsburgh region, but not as low as the rest of the nation. The Pittsburgh Metropolitan Statistical Area’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate decreased from 4.9 percent in September 2017 to 4.1 percent in September 2018, according to recently released data from the Pennsylvania Department of Labor …

Unemployment Slides Lower Read More »

Region Trails In Job Growth

More jobs were added to the payroll in the Pittsburgh region in September, but not at pace with the rest of the nation. The Pittsburgh region gained 8,800 jobs between September 2017 and September 2018, a .8 percent increase over the year, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. That rate of growth …

Region Trails In Job Growth Read More »

Unemployment Holds Steady, Near Low Rate of the Year

The Pittsburgh region’s unemployment rate in August remained at 4 percent for the second consecutive month, according to recently released data from the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry. The August and July rates represent the second-lowest unemployment levels reported in the seven-county Pittsburgh Metropolitan Statistical Area this year and are only slightly higher than …

Unemployment Holds Steady, Near Low Rate of the Year Read More »

New Jobs Trickle into Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh area employers continued to add jobs in August, but at a much slower pace than what is seen across other Pittsburgh Today benchmark regions. The Pittsburgh region gained 4,800 jobs between August 2017 and August 2018, a .5 percent increase. The rate of job growth in the seven-county Pittsburgh Metropolitan Statistical Area falls below …

New Jobs Trickle into Pittsburgh Read More »

Up in Smoke

Dan Ward is 27 and lives in Pittsburgh’s Garfield neighborhood. He is mostly vegan, rides his bike to work and walks in the park as often as he can. He also vaped for several years, using an electronic cigarette to satisfy a need to “have one vice to balance my otherwise healthy lifestyle.” Diane Lavsa …

Up in Smoke Read More »

Unemployment Down, Workforce Shrinks

The temperature may be up, but the unemployment rate in the Pittsburgh region keeps dropping, closing the gap separating it from national rate, which it has long hovered above. Year-over-year, the unemployment rate in the seven-county Pittsburgh Metropolitan Statistical Area fell .9 percentage points, from 4.9 percent in July 2017 to 4.0 in July 2018. …

Unemployment Down, Workforce Shrinks Read More »

Region’s Demographics Changing

Southwestern Pennsylvania is starting to look more like the United States as the region’s population becomes more diverse, the latest U.S. Census Bureau estimates suggest. The demographic shifts are most significant in Allegheny County and the City of Pittsburgh, where the Asian and Hispanic populations have been on the rise. In the five-year period from …

Region’s Demographics Changing Read More »

Region Adds Jobs

Employers continue to add to their payrolls in southwestern Pennsylvania in May, although there are signs it might be slowing. The region added 12,800 jobs from May 2017 to May 2018—a 1.2 percent increase, according to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data. “There’s been little bit of slowing over the growth rates that have registered …

Region Adds Jobs Read More »

Top