Saturday, March 14, 2009

Fewer Bankruptcies in Pittsburgh Than Almost Anywhere Else

Further evidence that the Pittsburgh Region has been relatively immune from the kinds of recessionary impacts the rest of the country has been experiencing comes from the latest bankruptcy statistics issued by the Administrative Office of U.S. Courts. Whereas bankruptcy filings (both business and personal) increased nationally by 31% between 2007 and 2008, bankruptcy filings only increased by 5% in the Western District of Pennsylvania (which covers the Pittsburgh Region).

In fact, if one compares bankruptcy filings in the U.S. District Courts covering the top 40 regions in the country, one finds that the Pittsburgh Region had the 3rd lowest increase. The only two districts that had smaller increases were in Texas, which parallels the finding that regions in Texas were among the few regions in the country that have done better in job growth/loss than the Pittsburgh Region.

The differences among regions are huge -- bankruptcies in Arizona and California have jumped 70-90% compared to the 5% increase here. Moreover, the increases don't tell the whole story, either. There were 31,000 bankruptcy filings in the Northern District of Ohio (which covers Cleveland) last year, 2.5 times as many as the 12,874 in the Western District of Pennsylvania (which covers Pittsburgh).


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