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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.
“Our growth right now in this last year period is not setting the world on fire, it's consistent over the four year period with where we’ve been,” Heuck said. “Relatively speaking, over that time we’re in much better shape than the other regions.”
Heuck attributed that to a number of factors, like the expansion of the medical and energy industries in the region.
“Now, there’s really been a dramatic change in Pittsburgh for the last several years,” Heuck said. “It’s been pretty much near the top of all of our economic categories.”
Heuck adds some industries fared better than others. Government jobs dropped by about 1.5%, while hospitality and transportation jobs both increased by nearly 5% from August 2011 to August 2012. During that period, Denver and Cincinnati had the most job growth at about 2.5% while Milwaukee reported a loss over the last 12 months.
The other benchmark cities are Baltimore, Boston, Charlotte, Cleveland, Detroit, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, Minnesota, Philadelphia, Richmond and St. Louis.