Julia Fraser

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

IT and Robotics Led Business Deals in 2018

Information technology and robotics lead the region as the most active sector for business deals and jobs in the Pittsburgh region for the second year in a row, according to the 2018 Allegheny Conference on Community Development Business Investment Scorecard. The business scorecard is an index which compiles announcements of new deals in the region, …

IT and Robotics Led Business Deals in 2018 Read More »

Historically Low Unemployment With a Twist

Unemployment in southwestern Pennsylvania hovered at a historically low level in March, despite revisions that wiped away February’s record low. The unemployment rate in the seven-county Pittsburgh Metropolitan Statistical Area was 3.9 percent for March 2019, down .5 percent from March 2018, according to data from the Pennsylvania Department of Labor’s Center for Workforce Information …

Historically Low Unemployment With a Twist Read More »

The Pittsburgh Flip

Tom Maiden has been renting in the city of Pittsburgh for decades. He has a well-paid job as manager of user services at the Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center, and while he’s never shut the door on the idea of buying a home, the ease and convenience of renting is too compelling. “While renting might be slightly …

The Pittsburgh Flip Read More »

Unemployment Drops As Workforce Expands

Southwestern Pennsylvania saw unemployment continue to fall in February and, over the previous 12 months, added more than 8,000 workers to its workforce, which has struggled to expand in recent years, U.S. Bureau of Labor data show. The unemployment rate in the seven-county Pittsburgh Metropolitan Statistical Area dropped to 3.6 percent in February, down from …

Unemployment Drops As Workforce Expands Read More »

Never-Ending Gap

The wide gap between incomes earned by white and black workers is a national phenomenon that won’t go away. And it’s particularly severe in southwestern Pennsylvania. African Americans living in the seven-county Pittsburgh Metropolitan Statistical Area earn 48 percent less than white residents on average, 2017 U.S. Census Bureau median income data suggest. Income influences …

Never-Ending Gap Read More »

Region Adds Jobs, But Pace Slows

Employers in southwestern Pennsylvania continued to add jobs last month, but there are signs that job creation, which has been on the rise in recent years, could be slowing. The seven-county Pittsburgh Metropolitan Statistical Area added 6,400 jobs from February 2018 and February 2019—a .6 percent year-over-year increase, according to new data from the U.S. …

Region Adds Jobs, But Pace Slows Read More »

Pittsburgh Unemployment Hits Dramatic New Low

Southwestern Pennsylvania opened the year with the lowest unemployment the region has seen in nearly 50 years. Pittsburghers began 2019 working in full force, as the unemployment rate fell to its lowest point since February 1970 and dropped beneath the national jobless rate. Unemployment in the seven-county Pittsburgh Metropolitan Statistical Area fell one percent in …

Pittsburgh Unemployment Hits Dramatic New Low Read More »

Finding the Green for Green Spaces

Gathering Place in Tulsa, Okla. was named the best new attraction in America last year by USA Today. It’s a sprawling $465 million park with lakes, gardens, wetlands and an extravagant playground. Essentially, it’s a public park, built and maintained with private dollars, and in that regard, it’s an exception as urban public parks go. …

Finding the Green for Green Spaces Read More »

The Parks Puzzle

While the origin of the expression, “a walk in the park,” is unclear, it’s a safe bet the author wasn’t a planner trying to stitch urban parks and trails together to create flowing greenways throughout a city like Pittsburgh. Pittsburgh’s bountiful and diverse parks range from popular destinations, such as Schenley Park in the heart …

The Parks Puzzle Read More »

Lowest in Decades

Unemployment in southwestern Pennsylvania fell again in December, ending a year that saw the jobless rate slip to levels last seen when the region’s steel industry still ruled the local economy. The unemployment rate in the seven-county Pittsburgh Metropolitan Statistical Area was 4.2 percent for December 2018, down .4 percent from December 2017, according to …

Lowest in Decades Read More »

Jobs Added In Region

The Pittsburgh region closed out 2018 with an uptick in employment opportunities as employers added 17,100 jobs in December, a year-over-year increase of 0.8 percent dating to December 2017, according to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data. December’s numbers suggest that job creation remained positive in the seven-county Pittsburgh Metropolitan Statistical Area throughout 2018. But, …

Jobs Added In Region 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 »

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 »

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 »

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 »