Pittsburgh area unemployment rate rises
Pittsburgh area employers shed 31,900 jobs in January, pushing the region's unemployment rate up to 7.5 percent, the state Department of Labor and Industry said Tuesday.
The seven-county region's jobless rate increased from 7.3 percent in December but remained below state and national unemployment rates.
“That 31,900 is a big number and sort of scary-looking,” said Jake Haulk, an economist and president of the Allegheny Institute for Public Policy, Castle Shannon. “But the drop is largely seasonal,” which is to be expected.
The increase joblessness was driven largely by a loss of 6,900 retailing jobs after the holidays.
In addition, the region lost 5,900 government jobs in January, 3,900 leisure and hospitality industry jobs, 3,800 education and health services jobs, and 3,000 administrative and waste services jobs.
The sector data comes from a survey of employers and is not adjusted for seasonal fluctuations.
Statewide unemployment increased to 8.2 percent in January from 7.9 percent in December. The national jobless rate rose to 7.9 percent from 7.8 percent.
Kurt Rankin, an economist at PNC Financial Services Group, said the December-January decline “is not something to be overly concerned about” because he expects significant gains in February, March and April, which is the time of year when hiring generally picks up.
Haulk added that from January 2012 to this past January, the region added 10,100 private-sector jobs, which he called, “a pretty good increase.”
According to a separate survey of area households, 1,173,800 people were working in January, down from 1,176,100 the month before. The results are adjusted to account for seasonal fluctuations.
About 95,200 people were not working in the Pittsburgh region in January, compared with 92,000 in December. That data is seasonally adjusted.
The Pittsburgh region covers Allegheny, Armstrong, Beaver, Butler, Fayette, Washington and Westmoreland counties.
The region's unemployment rate stood at 6.9 percent in January 2012.
Thomas Olson is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7854 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
- U.S. adds 173,000 jobs in August, dropping unemployment rate to 5.1 percent
- Fifth Third Bank selling Pittsburgh branches to First National
- NexTier Bank buys Oakland’s Eureka to increase coverage in Western Pennsylvania
- Robust jobs report could force Federal Reserve to raise interest rates
- Indian SUV maker Mahindra to debut electric scooter in U.S.
- Alcoa putting $60M into Upper Burrell tech center expansion
- Trib Total Media puts 9 Western Pa. newspapers up for sale
- Alpha Natural Resources executive resigns amid restructuring
- Steelworkers union says ATI talks to resume
- Pittsburgh unemployment rate steady as job market shrinks
- Pa. business interests decry EPA ozone proposal as economic albatross