Pittsburgh Region Jobs Picture is Looking Up

Has the Pittsburgh area climbed out of the recession?  Notwithstanding the commentary nationally and locally lamenting the tough economic times across much of the Country and State, the Pittsburgh metropolitan statistical area (MSA) employment picture has been showing significant improvement for most of 2011.  In fact, the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ preliminary payroll survey for October 2011 shows the employee count to be at its highest October level for at least two decades going back to 1990. While data revisions have been known to reverse initially reported gains, the year-over-year increases for every month in 2011 have been quite healthy and are perhaps signaling that from a jobs standpoint, the area has exited the recession.

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Recession Continued to Grip Region Through January

According to some analysts the recession is over. The Bureau of Economic Analysis has reported that real gross domestic product increased in both the third and fourth quarters of 2009, suggesting the long economic slide is coming to an end. While welcome news, many folks are still feeling the effects of the recession.  For January, the national unemployment rate was a seasonally-adjusted 9.7 percent; Pennsylvania’s rate was lower at 8.8 percent and Pittsburgh region’s rate stood at 8.1 percent-up from 7.9 percent in December.  The unemployment rates underscore just how the recession, while technically over, continues for large numbers of people (100,000 unemployed in the region as of January). 

 

 

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