Pittsburgh Quarterly Contributors
Julia Fraser

Julia Fraser

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

Region’s Demographics Changing

Southwestern Pennsylvania is starting to look more like the United States as the region’s population becomes more diverse, the latest U.S. Census Bureau estimates suggest.

Population Slips Again

The Pittsburgh region’s population continued to slide in 2017, falling to 2,333,367 people, according to recent population estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau. It marked the fifth consecutive year population has declined in the seven-​county Pittsburgh Metropolitan Statistical Area.

Tipping the Scales

Southwestern Pennsylvania has the highest percentage of “healthy weight” adults among the Pittsburgh Today benchmark regions, according to 2016 data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, the most recent available.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.
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