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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Mowod, Twerski, Sommers, Schano, Connelly, Burke

Tony Mowod, 85: The longtime host of the WDUQ jazz program “Nightside” and founder of the Pittsburgh Jazz Society, Mr. Mowod grew up in the Hill District surrounded by jazz. His parents ran a restaurant, and he would go on to own several including the Vogue Terrace Dinner Theatre, which burned down after one production …

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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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Whoops!

Before I reach the exciting conclusion of my series on Baron Rothschild, I want to mention just two of the many bizarre events that occurred in connection with Imetal’s attempted takeover of Copperweld Corporation. Previously in this series: “A Strange Request: Baron Rothschild and Me, Part III” Most of those strange events arose out of a …

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Civil Discourse

As I consider the divided state of our country, I imagine my father’s voice repeating an old adage to me. “If you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem.” We can all agree that America has problems, though we’ll likely differ on what they are. Some will say the mob that former …

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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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A Passion for Cheese

Frequently in life, the people who are most successful are those who have a passion for what they do. When you cross the threshold of Chantal’s, the tiny cheese shop across the street from Children’s Hospital in Lawrenceville, the passion is palpable. These are people who love cheese! Anaïs Saint-André Loughran was born and raised …

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A Strange Request

My checkered performance during l’Affaire de la Limousine had apparently put me in the Copperweld-Imetal doghouse, because I received no more assignments on that matter for a long time. Previously in this series: “A Humbling Start: Baron Rothschild and Me, Part II” I’d nearly forgotten about the takeover when I received a call from the …

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How Much Exercise Is Required to Reap Health Benefits?

Question: “I realize that exercise is good for us. How much daily exercise is required to get positive health benefits?” Here is what we know for sure: An overwhelming amount of evidence points to the fact that a physically active lifestyle provides a variety of positive health outcomes. Participating in regular exercise, whether it be …

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Baby Boom, or Bust?

After a major power blackout left New York City in the dark in 1965, the New York Times suggested it led to a citywide baby boom, citing a surge in births at local hospitals. After Boston was hit with a blizzard in 1978, the Boston Globe predicted it would result in a baby boom. In …

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Just Askin’… Susan Jaffe

Q: What’s the most interesting thing about your job? A: The most interesting part of my job is working with the dancers and creating programs to enrich the dancers and the audiences’ experience of dance. Q: What’s the best advice anybody ever gave you? A: The best advice that was given to me was to …

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A Humbling Start

As I entered the huge corner suite occupied by the head of the litigation group, I strolled by his secretary’s desk saying, “I assume he’s expecting me.” Previously in this series: “Baron Rothschild and Me” “Not likely,” she said. “He’s in New York.” I stopped dead. “But…” I stammered. “He doesn’t want you — I …

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2021 Economic Outlook

Economic recovery prospects in the Pittsburgh metro region are challenging for 2021. Government-mandated business closures and capacity limitations have sunk the metropolitan area’s labor force into steeper-than-average declines, undermining the ability of existing household consumption and business expenditures to reignite economic gains in the near term. New stimulus from the federal government may well provide …

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Short Takes: “Further News of Defeat,” “Hallelujah Station and Other Stories”

When Autumn House Press began in 1998, they published poetry. In 2008, the Pittsburgh-based press expanded its offerings to fiction, and over the past decade, few small presses can claim to have published a catalog of work as reliably entertaining and artful. In the fall, Autumn House Press published two new story collections from up …

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Intersections: Poetry, Photography and Pittsburgh

In a 2006 lecture at Scripps College, art critic and L.A. Times reviewer Leah Ollman spoke on the overlapping aesthetic qualities used in photography and poetry, stating that “Each has a multiplicitous nature, and like any medium, resists a singular definition. Photography is said to be a slice of reality, a distortion of reality; a …

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Baron Rothschild and Me

I had passed the bar exam and was working for a very large law firm in Pittsburgh. I was still so new I would get lost on my way to the men’s room. But it was wildly exciting for a working class kid from a dying mill town to be associated with such a prestigious …

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Finding Jakie Lerner

“805 was a burner. where the hell is Jakie Lerner?” That was former racketeer Sam Solomon’s recollection of Aug. 5, 1930, the day when seemingly all of Pittsburgh bet on a single number: 805. When 805 hit, the city’s numbers bankers scrambled to pay the winnings. Many simply didn’t, and some skipped town to avoid …

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The Importance of the Warmup and Cooldown

Question: “I fit my aerobic workouts into a very tight schedule. How important is it to spend time warming up before and cooling down after exercising? I often do neither.” Warming up prior to engaging in more vigorous exercise serves several important functions. From both a mental and physiological standpoint, it prepares the body for …

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Pittsburgh Today and Tomorrow 2021

To view a PDF version of Pittsburgh Today and Tomorrow 2021, click here.

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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