Slow Regional Job Growth Continues in October
As you can see in this chart comparing job growth rates in Pittsburgh to the U.S. over the past decade, average job growth in the Pittsburgh Region over the past two years has averaged under 0.50%, well below the job growth rates experienced prior to the recession, and well below the U.S. job growth rates during the same period.
Although the chart suggests that the gap between the U.S. and Pittsburgh job growth rates was narrowing this year, this was due to a temporary spurt in job growth that occurred here late last year into early 2007.
The following chart, which shows monthly job growth, makes it clear that over the past six months, things have been getting progressively worse, not better. Job growth rates are much lower now than at the beginning of the year, and the gap between job growth here and the U.S. as a whole has widened.
Of particular concern is that manufacturing jobs in the Pittsburgh Region began to decline again in October after holding fairly steady during 2006 and into early 2007. The preliminary job totals indicate that there were almost 2,000 fewer manufacturing jobs here in October than in the same month last year. If that continues, it will have serious negative ripple effects throughout the regional economy.