As we have written in previous Policy Briefs, the Pittsburgh metropolitan statistical area (MSA) experienced strong employment growth in 2011 (as measured by the establishment survey), especially in the final quarter. While the data for the first part of 2012 showed a slowdown, the MSA still showed positive growth. The question arises, how did the counties that make up the MSA fare during the last couple of years?
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) has revised its labor force estimates for the period 2005 through 2010. This was done to reflect new Census Bureau population controls, updated input data, new statewide controls, and re-estimation. While these revisions occur regularly, this latest round of revisions produced fairly large changes in Pittsburgh area data for the number of unemployed, employed and labor force. These changes show the area’s unemployment rate to have been significantly lower than first reported during much of 2010.