Economy & Business

Economy
9:20 pm
Tue November 13, 2012

$50,000 Donated For Pittsburgh Homeless

Five Pittsburgh agencies are receiving $10,000 apiece to assist their homeless programs.

Citizens Bank announced the $50,000 contribution to five nonprofits:  Light of Life Ministries, Bethlehem Haven, Familylinks, Pittsburgh Mercy Health System’s Operation Safety Net, and Sojourner House.

Henri Moore, spokesperson for Citizens Bank, said these organizations were selected because of the variety of ways in which they help.

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Economy
9:18 pm
Tue November 13, 2012

First Round of Improvement Grants Awarded to 12 Pittsburgh Neighborhoods

The Pittsburgh Neighborhood Renaissance Fund has awarded a total of $275,000 in community development grants to 12 neighborhoods in the North Side, West End and South Hills. The overall goal is to jumpstart development in communities that have experienced a long decline, but have not gotten improvement funds and resources like other areas of the city have received.

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Economy
5:47 pm
Tue November 13, 2012

Time To Pay Up: PA Dept. of Revenue Collecting Unpaid Cigarette Tax

Pennsylvanians who purchased cigarettes online may have thought they were getting a good deal with cheaper prices, but the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue says the good deals might have come at the expense of breaking the law.  The Department reported nearly 23,000 residents did not pay state taxes on cigarette packs bought online and through the mail.

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Economy
8:51 am
Mon November 5, 2012

LIHEAP Ecouraging Early and Online Registration For Heating Help

A state program designed to help low-income households with their energy bills has started accepting applications.

The Pennsylvania Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) provides grants especially in the winter months.

Donna Morgan, spokesperson for the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare, said the department is urging people to register early. 

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Economy
4:35 pm
Thu November 1, 2012

Funding for More Seats at Heinz Field at Center of Legal Action by Steelers

The Pittsburgh Steelers have filed an intent to sue the stadium authority over funding for additional seats in Heinz Field.                                                               

A stalled plan to add 3,000 end zone seats and a new scoreboard would cost up to $39 million. The Steelers want the city-county Sports Exhibition Authority to pitch in about two-thirds of that – which the team says is required under a lease agreement. SEA officials want to contribute less.

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Economy
2:52 pm
Thu November 1, 2012

Pittsburgh Unemployment Deceptively Rises To 7.4 Percent

In the last unemployment report to be released prior to the November 6 elections, Pittsburgh’s jobless rate rose one-tenth of a percentage point from 7.3 percent in August to 7.4 percent in September. However that percentage doesn’t tell the entire story according to Doug Heuck, the Director of the regional benchmarking website PittsburghTODAY.

“When you actually look at the change in actual employment and the number of jobs added in that period, Pittsburgh actually had the third highest rise in jobs [among peer cities] in terms of percentage change over that year,” he said.

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Economy
6:51 pm
Tue October 30, 2012

Mon Wharf Goes Under, 10th Street Bypass Stays Open

When it comes to flooding downtown you can consider Pittsburgh lucky when it comes to Hurricane Sandy.

While there is a flood warning in effect for the Youghiogheny River in Connellsville and for the Conemaugh River in Seward, it seems Pittsburgh has avoided major flooding from Hurricane Sandy and the many of the other predicted impacts of the storm.

Lee Hendricks, a meteorologist for the National Weather Service, said warnings were issued, but no rivers are expected to flood downtown.

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Economy
12:07 am
Mon October 29, 2012

Pittsburgh Region Has Full Year Of Real Estate Sales Growth

For a 12th straight month there have been year-over-year increases in home sales for the Pittsburgh metropolitan area.  Allegheny, Beaver, Butler, Washington and Westmoreland counties all experienced dollar gains in existing home sales.

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Economy
7:35 pm
Fri October 26, 2012

Fall Food Drive Underway

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Economy
5:20 pm
Mon October 22, 2012

Pittsburgh Gas Prices Dropping, Still 32 Cents Higher Than A Year Ago

Pittsburgh’s retail gasoline prices have fallen 4.2 cents per gallon over the past week, averaging $3.80.  However, that drop is just half that of the national average, which has declines between 9-10 cents per gallon to $3.67 according to PittsburghGasPrices.com.

Gregg Laskoski, a Senior Petroleum Analyst for GasBuddy.com, says that the fluctuations in gas prices are usually a matter of timing.

“We are fortunate to be at the time of year when winter blend gasoline is put back into the market… It is a cheaper gasoline to produce because it has fewer additives.”

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Economy
7:41 pm
Fri October 19, 2012

Pennsylvania Unemployment Up Slightly in September

Pennsylvania’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate climbed to 8.2% in September, up one-tenth of a percentage point from the August rate of 8.1%.  Resident employment was up 23,000 to 5,974,000, and the number of unemployed residents was up 5,000 to 530,000. Pennsylvania’s labor force was 130,000 above its September 2011 level.

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Economy
7:35 am
Wed October 17, 2012

Nighttime Downtown Deals for Consumers Help Charities

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Retailers and restaurateurs are hoping to draw more visitors to downtown Pittsburgh to shop and dine while helping out charity at the same time.  

“Stay Late, Shop and Dine” kicks off Thursday and will occur again in November and December as part of a trial program initiated by the Pittsburgh Downtown Community Development Corporation (PDCDC).

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Economy
6:52 pm
Tue October 16, 2012

Prices Up in Northeast, Larger Jump Nationwide

The cost of consumer goods and services rose 0.5 percent last month in the northeast region, which includes Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey and the New England states.  That compares to a 0.6 percent jump nationally.

"[Over the last 12 months] we saw an increase in prices in the northeast region of 1.7 percent," said Bureau of Labor Statistics spokeswoman Kara Markley.  "For the U.S. as a whole, the increase was 2 percent."

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Economy
6:06 pm
Tue October 16, 2012

Panel: Pittsburgh Job Market, Atmosphere Attractive to Young Adults

Pittsburgh's diverse labor market and small-city atmosphere make it attractive to young people, according to a panel at the University of Pittsburgh on Tuesday, but the city should do more to attract young adults of diverse ethnicities, and local youngsters should vote more often.

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Economy
6:53 pm
Mon October 15, 2012

Occupy Pittsburgh Marks One Year Anniversary

It’s been a year since Occupy Pittsburgh first set up an encampment in a small downtown park. On Monday, the group showed that it’s still operating, despite the lack of a physical headquarters for protests of economic and social issues.

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Economy
6:32 pm
Mon October 15, 2012

1 in 3 Pennsylvanians Say They're Better Off Financially Than in 2008

The question Ronald Reagan famously used during his 1980 campaign for president, "Are you better off now than you were four years ago?" is still being asked by many, including Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney.

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Economy
7:35 am
Mon October 15, 2012

Federal Grant To Increase Business Exports

Small companies in Pennsylvania are set to get some help in growing their exports.

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Economy
4:08 pm
Fri October 12, 2012

First Roughneck Fest Will Be Held This Sunday In Washington County

This Sunday, thousands of people of all ages and occupations are expected to gather at the Washington County Fairgrounds for the region's first Roughneck Fest celebrating Pennsylvania’s growing natural gas industry. Events including cook-offs, arm-wrestling, and a boxing match will help raise money for the PA Firefighter’s Athletic League.

While the festival was designed with the image of the Roughneck worker in mind, festival coordinator Pam Blaker said it will be a day for everyone to enjoy.

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Economy
8:31 pm
Thu October 11, 2012

New Loan Program To Spur Downtown Retail

Pittsburgh has space in historic downtown buildings, but not enough retail to fill it. A new loan program propelled by the city hopes to change that.

Mayor Luke Ravenstahl and the Pittsburgh History and Landmarks Foundation today announced the launch of a new loan initiative that hopes to spur more retail ventures and further the economic growth of the Golden Triangle.

Ravenstahl said every great American city needs a strong urban core.

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Economy
6:55 pm
Wed October 10, 2012

Finding Funding To Repair Crumbling Locks and Dams

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The Fifth Annual Sustainability Conference this Friday will address solutions to the region’s vital waterway infrastructure needs, with presentations from the Army Corps of Engineers, the Port of Pittsburgh Commission, and the new SWPA Water Innovation Consortium, among others.  

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Economy
10:23 pm
Tue October 9, 2012

Tom Corbett Receives High Marks In Fiscal Policy

The fiscally conservative Cato Institute today released its biennial Fiscal Policy Report Card on America’s Governors and Pennsylvania’s Tom Corbett received an “A."

According to the report, Corbett scored well because he has been a “frugal budgeter” who has reduced spending to a figure lower than when he entered office.

Chris Edwards, Director of Tax Policy Studies for Cato, said he was impressed by Corbett’s steep reduction of the Capital Stock and Franchise Tax.

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Economy
6:18 pm
Mon October 8, 2012

Interest Rate Swaps: Increased Risk, or Revenue?

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State lawmakers are considering changes to a Pennsylvania law aimed at curbing risky financing among municipalities and school districts.

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Economy
7:35 am
Mon October 1, 2012

Pittsburgh International At 20

20 years ago today the state-of-the-art Pittsburgh International Airport opened for business.   The late Allegheny County Commissioner Tom Foerster greeted passengers at 5:30, the morning of October 1st, 1992.  US Air Flight 620 was the first to land at the new airport. 

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Economy
7:26 pm
Fri September 28, 2012

Pittsburgh Region's Workforce Aging Fast

The Three Rivers Workforce Investment Board (TRWIB) has issued a report on the aging of the region’s labor pool warning of a future shortage of workers.  The report finds the region will be faced with a high number of retirements in the future and not enough qualified younger workers to fill critical jobs in key sectors like manufacturing, education, health care, and the trades.

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Economy
6:29 pm
Wed September 26, 2012

Job Growth Slows, But Up Overall in Recent Years

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Jobs grew by 1.1% in the Pittsburgh region over the last 12 months, but that figure is below the 1.3%  growth average of 15 benchmark cities.

Douglas Heuck, Director of Pittsburgh Today, says Pittsburgh is breaking its pattern of being at the bottom of the list.   Over the past four years, Pittsburgh is the only one of the 15 regions that reported growth in jobs.  The others all had a net loss over that period.

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Economy
10:29 pm
Tue September 25, 2012

Dozens Lobby City Council for 'Ban the Box' Legislation

Several dozen people gathered in Pittsburgh City Council Chambers Tuesday morning to demand that The Council pass a bill commonly known as "ban the box" legislation.

The bill would prohibit any criminal background inquiries on initial job applications for both public and private employers in the city, deferring those questions until the interview process. The measure was introduced last year by Council Finance Chair Ricky Burgess, but it is still awaiting a legal opinion from the city law department.

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Economy
7:35 am
Mon September 24, 2012

Big Surge in Exports From Pittsburgh

Exports from the Pittsburgh metro area jumped by 24.7% from 2010 to 2011. That's the word from the U.S. Department of Commerce which said the value of exports from the region rose by $3 billion last year to $15.2 billion, making Pittsburgh the 22nd largest metro area exporter in the nation.

Lyn Doverspike, director of the department's U.S. Commercial Service in Pittsburgh, said the increase in exports is partly due to an improving economy but more so it's cyclical.

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Economy
2:35 pm
Sat September 22, 2012

A Visit To A Shale Conference

The Marcellus Shale Coalition has just wrapped up its annual natural gas drilling conference.
   When energy companies get together, the major speeches make it into the news, and so do the protests outside.
  But what else goes on at these conventions?
 

Sure, there are the speeches from politicians and CEOs.  And there are technical panels with names like, take a deep breath: A Geochemical Context for Stray Gas Investigation in the Northern Appalachian Basin.  But the main action at this gathering of natural gas drillers takes place in the exhibit hall.

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Economy
6:28 pm
Fri September 21, 2012

August Unemployment Numbers Show An Upward Trend

Pennsylvania’s unemployment rate jumped to 8.1% in August, up from July’s 7.9 figure.

The 8.1% matches the national rate but Scott Meckley, Industry and Business Analyst for the Department of Labor and Industry, said  the commonwealth's jobless rate has been below the U.S. rate for  for 51 consecutive months.

Although to finally be trending up is attention grabbing, the Pennsylvania rate and National rate have always moved in concert with each other and have been roughly the same, according to Meckley.

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Economy
6:16 pm
Thu September 20, 2012

Environmental Group Warns of High Costs to Citizens from Natural Gas Development

On the same day Governor Tom Corbett praised the Marcellus Shale industry and called fracking opponents “unreasoning,” PennEnvironment Research and Policy Center released a study that outlines the costs of development to citizens including the costs associated with contaminated water, health care, and infrastructure.

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