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

Job Losses Mount

The Pittsburgh region shed more jobs in December, offering further evidence that the local economy’s recovery from the coronavirus recession has slowed. The seven-county Pittsburgh Metropolitan Statistical Area lost 5,300 jobs from November to December last year, according to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data. And employers shed 86,300 workers from their payrolls in November …

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Unemployment Drops to 6.5 Percent

The seven-county Pittsburgh Metropolitan Statistical Area’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell from 7.2 percent in October to 6.5 percent in November, according to Pennsylvania Department of Labor Center for Workforce Information & Analysis program data. “The unemployment rate is high, but not exceptional,” said Chris Briem, regional economist at the University of Pittsburgh Center for …

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Jobs Climb Slowly in November

Employers in the seven-county Pittsburgh Metropolitan Statistical Area added 1,300 jobs to their payrolls from October 2020 to November 2020. But the bump in hiring still left the region 85,900 jobs short of the number on the books in November 2019, which is a 7.3 percent decline, according to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data. …

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Unemployment Drops Again in October

The seven-county Pittsburgh Metropolitan Statistical Area’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell from 8.3 percent in September to 7.2 percent in October, according to data from the Pennsylvania Department of Labor Center for Workforce Information & Analysis program. “7.2 percent is high, but is not extraordinary,” said Chris Briem, regional economist at the University of Pittsburgh …

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Pittsburgh Jobs Creep Back in October

Employers in the seven-county Pittsburgh Metropolitan Statistical Area added 11,900 jobs from September to October, according to data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. While the gains are encouraging, it remains a bruising year in terms of local payrolls. The Pittsburgh region lost about 86,000 jobs between October 2019 and October 2020—a 7.1 percent …

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It’s Hard to Eat Healthy

“Ba da ba ba ba.” in 2003, faced with slumping sales, McDonald’s commissioned a jingle. The fast-food giant recruited the era’s biggest music producer, Pharrell Williams, and pop icon Justin Timberlake to create “I’m Lovin’ It.”  The catchy hook became the heart of McDonald’s first worldwide campaign. It was sung in 20 languages throughout 120 …

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Regional Unemployment Falls to 8.2 Percent

Unemployment in the seven-county Pittsburgh Metropolitan Statistical Area dipped to 8.2 percent in September—a drop of 2.4 percentage points from August, according to data from Pennsylvania Department of Labor Center for Workforce Information & Analysis program. Despite the improvement, unemployment in the region remained well above pre-pandemic levels. In September 2019, the unemployment rate was …

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Domestic Abuse Concerns Rise as the Pandemic Drags On

As the coronavirus gripped the world in the spring, United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres warned of another “shadow” pandemic that could not be slowed by masks or hand washing. “We know lockdowns and quarantines are essential to suppressing COVID-19, but they can trap women with abusive partners,” Guterres said on April 5. “Over the past …

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Local Unemployment Eases

The coronavirus pandemic eased its pressure on employment in the region in August, when unemployment in the seven-county Pittsburgh Metropolitan Statistical Area fell to 10.5 percent in August—a drop of 2.3 percentage points from July, according to data from Pennsylvania Department of Labor’s Center for Workforce Information & Analysis program. “The drop in unemployment is …

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Jobs Slowly Return

The coronavirus pandemic’s attack on the Pittsburgh region’s economy slowed in August. Employers in the seven-county Metropolitan Statistical Area added 6,400 jobs to their payrolls from July 2020 to August 2020, according to recently released data from U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The Pittsburgh region lost about 100,500 jobs between August 2019 and August 2020—a …

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Unemployment Jumped in July

Unemployment soared in southwestern Pennsylvania last month as the coronavirus pandemic continued to weigh on the local economy. The unemployment rate in the seven-county Pittsburgh Metropolitan Statistical Area rose from 12.8 percent in June to 14.3 percent in July, according to data from Pennsylvania Department of Labor, Center for Workforce Information & Analysis. An estimated …

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Back to School?

Back-to-school shoppers are scooping up tracksuits, vintage 1990s oversized tees and everything tie-dye. But this year, many local students will debut their first day of school outfit on Zoom or coordinate the look with a face mask when they step on the school bus. Since the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted the school year last March, schools …

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Jobs Make up Ground, but Still in Short Supply

Jobs trickled back into the Pittsburgh region in July as many business restrictions aimed at slowing the spread of coronavirus were lifted. The region gained 6,000 jobs in July from June, according to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data. But the boost isn’t enough to bring the region back its pre-pandemic economy. In July, there …

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Rethinking Obesity

Tammy Dolan had always been a “heavy kid.” Still, she never considered herself “really big.” Then came college and weight gain. She graduated and was ready to face the world. But, “I wasn’t happy with myself,” said the 39-year-old from Centerville, Crawford County. She tried dieting and exercise but couldn’t lose the pounds. After consulting …

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Unemployment Eases and Labor Force Shrinks

The unemployment rate fell across southwestern Pennsylvania in June, when business closures began to ease as the region moved into the “green phase” of pandemic restrictions. But the coronavirus has taken a huge bite out of the local workforce. Pittsburgh’s seven-county metropolitan statistical area posted a seasonally adjusted unemployment rate of 12.5 percent in June. …

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Pittsburgh Renters Have Kept up Their Payments—So Far

On a July Pittsburgh afternoon, temperatures soared into the 90s. Public pools were dry, closed by pandemic restrictions. But for mask-wearing residents trickling out of Eastside Bond, a high-end East Liberty apartment complex, their private outdoor pool offered relief. There are new rules: Masks when not swimming; stay six feet apart in and out of …

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Jobs Shrink 10%

Employers in the Pittsburgh region started adding to their payrolls in May and June. But it was not nearly enough to offset steep job losses over the last 12 months as the coronavirus pandemic continues to weigh on the region’s economy. The seven-county Pittsburgh Metropolitan Statistical Area lost an estimated 116,900 jobs from June 2019 …

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Local Unemployment Drops, but Rate Remains Staggering

Unemployment in southwestern Pennsylvania fell sharply in May, when the region began to relax social restrictions and reopen businesses that had been closed to stop the spread of the coronavirus. Still, the jobless rate remains at levels rarely seen as the pandemic continued to take its toll on the local economy. The seven-county Pittsburgh Metropolitan …

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Pandemic Heats Up Housing Market

The COVID-19 pandemic disrupted business as usual in the residential real estate industry as it swept through the Pittsburgh region in March. It shut the doors on open houses, cancelled showings and stifled home inspections. But it failed to curb demand. A Howard Hanna real estate agent helped a seller stage a home via Facetime …

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Pandemic Slams Pittsburgh Jobs

The COVID-19 pandemic continued its attack on the Pittsburgh metropolitan job market in May with the region losing 175,800 jobs since May 2019, according to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. All of Pittsburgh Today’s 15 benchmark regions posted significant job losses in May. The seven-county Pittsburgh Metropolitan Statistical Area lost 14.6 percent over its jobs …

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April Unemployment Nears 17 Percent

Unemployment in the seven-county Pittsburgh Metropolitan Statistical Area reached 16.8 percent in April—just below the region’s peak unemployment rate in the early 1980s. For the first time since the collapse of the steel industry, fewer than one million people were employed in the Pittsburgh region, according to preliminary employment data from the Pennsylvania Department of …

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The Curtain Rises on a New Reality

The music of Chopin isn’t soaring through Heinz Hall. “Jersey Boys” won’t dance in sync on the Benedum stage. And a mid-June Friday night at Point State Park won’t be packed with concert-goers in lawn chairs. Instead, the Pittsburgh region’s arts and cultural organizations—which employ 15,000 and add roughly $1 billion in direct spending into …

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