Pittsburgh-area jobless rate edges down to 7.2%
The number of unemployed residents of the Pittsburgh region fell by 2,000 in November, the largest one-month decline since May 1999, according to a state report released on Thursday.
The jobless rate in the seven-county region decreased to 7.2 percent, down from 7.3 percent in October, according to the state Department of Labor and Industry. The rate was 7.1 percent in November 2011.
Economists welcomed the news but were not overly impressed with the development.
“This report is really just a sideways move of the Pittsburgh-area economy,” said Kurt Rankin, an economist with PNC Financial Services Group. “The one-tenth of a point decline in unemployment is not a huge move.”
About 90,900 people were unemployed in November, on a seasonally adjusted basis, according to a survey of area residents. About 92,900 were jobless in October, and 87,700 in November 2011.
Rankin noted that the number of unemployed swelled over the year, but that “on the positive side, the number of employed workers is up sharply.” Area employment rose by 8,300 in November from November 2011, to 1,168,500.
Frank Gamrat, an economist with the Allegheny Institute for Public Policy in Castle Shannon, said he viewed the employment reports “cautiously” because results from the government's household survey were more bullish on the economy than results from a separate survey of employers.
“There seems to be more confidence among consumers than employers,” Gamrat said. “I'd rather have more confidence showing among employers, where you have actual payrolls.”
According to the employer survey, whose results are not seasonally adjusted, manufacturing lost 300 jobs since October, and construction lost 400. But retail added 4,700 jobs over the month because of the Christmas shopping season.
“Manufacturing was doing better earlier in the recovery,” Rankin said. “But it has not been doing well in Pittsburgh over the past year.”
The state's unemployment rate in November was 7.8 percent, down from 8.1 percent in October. The national rate of 7.7 percent compared with 7.9 percent in October.
Thomas Olson is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached a 412-320-7854 or at email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- S&P 500 logs 47th record high close for year
- Lower gasoline prices fail to spur consumer spending
- Retailers that won’t open on Thanksgiving hope move pays off
- Federal agency checking whether Highmark has enough doctors in Medicare plan
- Housing prices nudge upward as more homes on market
- Household debt on the rise after 5-year decline
- Oil, gas industry tries to keep talent in pipeline
- Butler County firm Deep Well Services tackles tough gas wells
- Westinghouse to construct colossal nuke plant in Turkey
- Google applies tech to medical device
- Oil prices continue descent, dragging market indexes lower