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New Building Permits — Benchmark Regions

The number of permits issued for new privately owned residential construction is an excellent indicator of growth and economic vitality. After years of declining building permits that began in 2006, Pittsburgh’s trend has slowly improved. From 2011 to 2013, building permits increased by 1,649 units. In 2014, permits declined by 373, and then…
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Local Employment and Unemployment

Metropolitan Pittsburgh’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate decreased .3 percent from 4.2 percent in August 2018 to 3.9 percent in August 2019. During that period, the number of people in the labor force increased by 18,400 while the number of unemployed decreased by 1,000. Within the region, Butler County held the lowest unemployment rate…
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Year-​Over-​Year Job Growth

The Pittsburgh region gained 5,500 jobs between August 2018 and August 2019, a .5 percent increase over the year. That percentage falls below the benchmark average of 1.5 percent growth and the lowest of Pittsburgh Today’s benchmark regions. According to the preliminary numbers, in the 12-​month period, retail jobs declined by 1.6 percent…
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Racial & Ethnic Diversity of Regions

Race and ethnicity patterns in the United States are significantly impacted by migration flows. Historically low migration rates into the Pittsburgh region have resulted in low overall diversity rates and an extremely small Hispanic community. The Pittsburgh Metropolitan Statistical Area is much less racially and ethnically diverse than its benchmark peers. According to…
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Racial & Ethnic Diversity of Counties

The demographic portrait of the seven-​county Pittsburgh region’s population is becoming less white and more diverse, according to the latest U.S. Census Bureau estimates. From 2012 to 2017, Allegheny County’s Asian population increased 23.9 percent to 48,396 residents, and the county’s Hispanic population grew 20.3 percent to 25,647 people. Conversely, Allegheny County’s African…
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Housing Vacancy Rates

Vacancy rates in residential housing are a good barometer over time of the demand for shelter in a region. According to the Census, unoccupied housing units are considered vacant. Vacancy status is determined by the terms under which the unit may be occupied, e.g., for rent, for sale, or for seasonal use only.…
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Homeownership Rates

About 69.9 percent of residents in the Pittsburgh region own their home, the second-​largest homeownership rate among all benchmark regions.
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Housing Appreciation Rates

The St. Louis metropolitan region led all other regions in the most recent 12-​month period with an housing appreciation rate of 13.72 percent; Pittsburgh ranked fourth-​lowest at 4.5 percent, below the benchmark average of 7.5 percent. Pittsburgh’s ten-​year appreciation rate, however, was the fifth-​highest of all benchmark regions at 29.18 percent.
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Median Household Income

Median household income increased 4.4 percent to reach $58,521 a year in the Pittsburgh Metropolitan Statistical Area in 2017. Among the benchmark regions, Pittsburgh had the third-​lowest median household income above Detroit and Cleveland. Median household income is a measure of standard of living. Examining the median household income over time can help…
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Number of Companies

Companies backed by venture capital play an important role in economic growth. Estimates attribute 16.6 percent of national Gross Domestic Product and 9 percent of national private sector employment to them. Many technology-​oriented startup firms will need venture capital in order to successfully grow and create significant numbers of new jobs. The number…
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