Regional News

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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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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, …

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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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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. …

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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 …

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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 …

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Lower Unemployment, Smaller Labor Force

Unemployment fell in southwestern Pennsylvania in April compared to one year earlier, but the region’s labor force continues to shrink. The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in the seven-county Pittsburgh Metropolitan Statistical Area decreased from 5.2 percent in April 2017 to 4.3 percent in April 2018, according to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data. Within the …

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2017 Was Good For Business

Information technology and robotics lead the region as the most active sectors for business deals and jobs in the Pittsburgh region, according to the 2017 Allegheny Conference on Community Development Business Investment Scorecard. The scorecard is an index which considers the number of new deals in the region, capital investment, and jobs created and retained …

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Population Slips Again

The Pittsburgh region’s population continued to slide in 2017, falling to 2,333,367 people, according to recent population estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau. It marked the fifth consecutive year population has declined in the seven-county Pittsburgh Metropolitan Statistical Area. “The Pittsburgh region is a place that has suffered from a lot of population loss for …

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Tipping the Scales

Southwestern Pennsylvania has the highest percentage of “healthy weight” adults among the Pittsburgh Today benchmark regions, according to 2016 data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, the most recent available. But here’s the catch: Fewer than 1 in 3 southwestern Pennsylvanians are a healthy weight and more than …

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