Region's jobless rate rises to 7.4% as more people look for work
The Pittsburgh region added jobs in September but the unemployment rate rose as more people joined the workforce, a report released on Wednesday showed.
The seven-county region's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate increased to 7.4 percent in September, up from 7.3 percent in August, the state Department of Labor and Industry said. The rate climbed every month since May, when it was 6.7 percent.
The data, from a survey of households, showed the labor force expanded by 3,900 people to 1.26 million in September from August. At the same time, 3,000 more people became employed.
“We're still creating jobs in Pittsburgh,” said Kurt Rankin, an economist with PNC Financial Services Group, Downtown. “When more people join the labor force than are finding jobs, the unemployment rate is going to go up.”
A rising labor force is positive because it shows people are searching for jobs, Rankin said. The unemployment rate is “not rising so sharply that it's unsettling,” he said.
Yet the pace of job gains has been slow the past few months. Rankin said that's because businesses are uncertain about the presidential election and the possibility that Congress will raise federal taxes and cut spending.
“Nothing is really changing right now in Pittsburgh, as well as in the rest of the country,” he said.
A separate survey of businesses found the Pittsburgh region — Allegheny, Armstrong, Beaver, Butler, Fayette, Washington and Westmoreland counties — added 6,700 jobs in September, compared to the month before. Total nonfarm payroll jobs stood at 1.17 millionin September.
Jake Haulk, president of the Allegheny Institute for Public Policy in Castle Shannon, pointed to yearly numbers showing a shift in where jobs are created in Western Pennsylvania.
“There's some changing of the guard, in terms of employment,” Haulk said.
Education and health services jobs, a key driver of economic growth in recent years, decreased by 2,100 in September, compared to the same month last year.
Instead, job growth comes in finance, up 4,000 jobs; professional services, up 5,000 jobs; and transportation and warehousing, up 1,400 jobs.
Year over year, total nonfarm jobs were up 11,500.
“The big surprise is in education and health, which are normally always up, but they are not very strong,” Haulk said. It's a “pretty dramatic shift.”
Alex Nixon is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7928 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Add Alex Nixon to your Google+ circles.
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.
- Penguins slip past Sharks, 3-2, in shootout
- Connellsville church collects goods, money for the needy
- Tenebrae returns for Connellsville’s St. Rita Roman Catholic Church
- Calm dad known for work ethic, culinary skills
- NFL coaches weigh in on Polamalu’s legacy
- Hempfield infant fights rare disease
- Sex-soaked culture faulted for fraternity house parties
- Pirates’ outfield may have few defensive peers
- Penguins notebook: Five defensemen dress against San Jose
- Penguins’ Letang leaves hospital, ‘day-to-day’ with concussion
- Starkey: Next frontier for Steelers offense