Julia Fraser is a Pittsburgh Today staff writer and research specialist.

PLACE YOUR BETS

In the mid-1960s, public- and private-sector leaders in southwestern Pennsylvania threw their support behind an effort to diversify the region’s steel industry-reliant economy by developing the emerging rapid-transportation market in their backyard. Their hopes were pinned to Skybus, an innovative, automated transportation system that allowed for congestion-free travel on tracks high above streets and highways. …

PLACE YOUR BETS Read More »

College Students Wanted

When the United States slid into the Great Recession, throwing millions out of work, America went back to school. Older adults enrolling in community colleges or other two-year programs led a surge in enrollment that saw colleges add 2.5 million students from 2007-2010, a 14 percent enrollment spike. School administrators were elated. “We all thought, …

College Students Wanted Read More »

Unemployment Drops; More Workers Needed

Unemployment ticked down in southwestern Pennsylvania to begin 2022, but the region’s labor force woes persisted, according to the latest Pennsylvania Department of Labor data.   In January, 5.1 percent of workers in seven-county Pittsburgh Metropolitan Statistical Area were unemployed –a drop from 5.3 percent in December 2021. But the unemployment rate in the region remained …

Unemployment Drops; More Workers Needed Read More »

Weak Regional Jobs Picture Continues

Employers in the seven-county Pittsburgh Metropolitan Statistical Area shed 25,000 jobs from December 2021 to January 2022 – a 2.2 percent monthly loss, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Seasonal job losses are typical in January, but other data offer little hope that local jobs will snap back to pre-COVID levels. Annual revisions …

Weak Regional Jobs Picture Continues Read More »

Back to the Future

Most students in 19th century America walked to their local one-room schoolhouse to learn reading, writing and arithmetic in a classroom with a handful of other kids ranging in age and ability. With the youngest children seated at the front of the class, they memorized and recited their lessons. Once a mainstay of public education …

Back to the Future Read More »

Local Unemployment Drops, But So Does the Labor Force

Unemployment plunged in southwestern Pennsylvania to close out 2021, but the shrinking number of people choosing to leave the workforce remains a big problem, according to the latest Pennsylvania Department of Labor data.   In December, 5.3 percent of workers in seven-county Pittsburgh Metropolitan Statistical Area were unemployed – down from 5.7 percent in November 2021. …

Local Unemployment Drops, But So Does the Labor Force Read More »

Region Adds Jobs, But Growth Is Slow

Jobs edged up slightly in the Pittsburgh region in November, but not enough to signal a return to pre-COVID employment levels in the new year. Employers in the seven-county Pittsburgh Metropolitan Statistical Area added 2,000 jobs from October to November — a 0.2 percent monthly gain, according to recent data from the U.S. Bureau of …

Region Adds Jobs, But Growth Is Slow Read More »

Lower Unemployment Reported In Region

The unemployment rate in southwestern Pennsylvania dipped below six percent in October, but a shrinking labor force remains a challenge for employers looking to hire, according to the latest Pennsylvania Department of Labor data. In October, 5.9 percent of workers in seven-county Pittsburgh Metropolitan Statistical Area were looking for work—down from 6.1 percent in September …

Lower Unemployment Reported In Region Read More »

Region Gains Jobs; Braces For Infrastructure Surge

Jobs ticked up in the Pittsburgh region in October, but failed to put much of a dent in the number of jobs lost during the pandemic. Employers in the seven-county Pittsburgh Metropolitan Statistical Area added 9,000 more jobs in October than they did one month earlier, according to recent data from the U.S. Bureau of …

Region Gains Jobs; Braces For Infrastructure Surge Read More »

Unemployment, Labor Force Numbers Disappoint

Students returned to college campuses in September, but they failed to trigger a much-needed surge in the southwestern Pennsylvania labor force and employment, according to the latest Pennsylvania Department of Labor data.   At the same time, the region’s unemployment rate moved little, dipping from 6.2 percent in August to 6.1 percent in September – considerably …

Unemployment, Labor Force Numbers Disappoint Read More »

Reforming Education on the Fly

It was against the backdrop of war and pandemic that public education in America underwent radical innovation during the early decades of the 20th century. While the nation endured World War I and the Spanish flu, public education was quietly reshaped by a surge in public school enrollment and a wave of reform. It was …

Reforming Education on the Fly Read More »

Local Unemployment On A Holding Pattern

Southwestern Pennsylvania’s economy held steady in August with the unemployment rate and labor force reaching a plateau, according to the latest Pennsylvania Department of Labor data.   Unemployment in the seven-county Pittsburgh Metropolitan Statistical Area remained at 6.2 percent in August 2021—the same percentage of workers unemployed in the region in July. Although the rate failed …

Local Unemployment On A Holding Pattern Read More »

Job Growth Declines Again

The number of jobs in southwestern Pennsylvania fell slightly in August, further slowing the regional recovery to pre-pandemic levels. Employers in the seven-county Pittsburgh Metropolitan Statistical Area had 3,100 fewer jobs on their payrolls in August than one month earlier, according to recent data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. This is the second …

Job Growth Declines Again Read More »

Unemployment Improves but Region Needs More Workers

Employers in the Pittsburgh region added workers to their payrolls in July, but the region’s labor market remained flat, according to the latest Pennsylvania Department of Labor data. Unemployment in the seven-county Pittsburgh Metropolitan Statistical Area dipped from 6.3 percent in June 2021 to 6.2 percent in July, but it is still higher than the …

Unemployment Improves but Region Needs More Workers Read More »

Pittsburgh Metro Loses Jobs in July

The seven-county Pittsburgh Metropolitan Statistical Area had 7,700 fewer jobs in July than what employers had on their payrolls a month earlier, according to recent data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. “In normal years, a little bit of decline in the middle of the summer is pretty normal,” said Chris Briem, a regional …

Pittsburgh Metro Loses Jobs in July Read More »

Few Workers Added to Weak Workforce

The labor market in the Pittsburgh region remained largely stagnant, and unemployment rose slightly in June, according to the latest Pennsylvania Department of Labor data. Unemployment in the seven-county Pittsburgh Metropolitan Statistical Area rose from 5.7 percent in May 2021 to 6.3 percent in June. Despite the uptick, unemployment has significantly improved from a year …

Few Workers Added to Weak Workforce Read More »

The Curtain Rises, At Last

On an evening in early June, people lounged in camp chairs and blankets on the grass at Point State Park, lines formed at food booths on the edge of the lawn and people stood shoulder-to-shoulder, swaying to the sounds of blues rock and soul music performed by Celisse on the main stage. It was more …

The Curtain Rises, At Last Read More »

Region Adds Jobs, but Needs More

The Pittsburgh region welcomed back thousands of jobs in June but will need sustained gains to climb back to pre-pandemic employment levels. The seven-county Pittsburgh Metropolitan Statistical Area gained 57,800 jobs from June 2020 to June 2021, including 9,300 jobs since May 2021. “Jobs are up more than you would seasonally expect here for the …

Region Adds Jobs, but Needs More Read More »

Unemployment Falls and Labor Force Plunges

Unemployment fell sharply in southwestern Pennsylvania last month. But the good news is tempered by continued contraction of the regional labor force, which plunged to its lowest level since June 1991, according to the latest Pennsylvania Department of Labor data. Unemployment in the seven-county Pittsburgh Metropolitan Statistical Area dropped one full percentage point — from …

Unemployment Falls and Labor Force Plunges Read More »

As Unemployment Falls, Local Labor Force Stalls

Unemployment in southwestern Pennsylvania ticked down in April, but the region’s labor force failed to grow much beyond where it was a year earlier, when it had shrunk during the height of pandemic-related business closures and restrictions. Unemployment in the seven-county Pittsburgh Metropolitan Statistical Area dipped from 7.6 percent in March 2021 to 7.4 percent …

As Unemployment Falls, Local Labor Force Stalls Read More »

Seasonal Hiring Boosts Local Jobs

Seasonal jobs returned to the Pittsburgh region in April, but a snap back to a pre-pandemic economy remains elusive, according the most recent data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.  The seven-county Pittsburgh Metropolitan Statistical Area gained 15,200 jobs from March to April 2021 — a 1.4 percent gain, according to the BLS. “It’s …

Seasonal Hiring Boosts Local Jobs Read More »

Pittsburgh Real Estate

The Terminal, stretching five blocks along Smallman Street, had just been given a stunning makeover when COVID-19 arrived, threatening the eateries and shops it courted as tenants. Months later, the 95-year-old former hub of Pittsburgh’s wholesale produce industry remains a hot real estate property that has attracted tenants throughout the pandemic, including District Brew Yards, …

Pittsburgh Real Estate Read More »