Job Growth Steady


Photo by David Brossard

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Southwestern Pennsylvania experienced another month of steady job growth in June.

The region added 11,700 jobs from June 2017 to June 2018—a 1.1 percent increase, according to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data.

Pittsburgh isn’t the only region adding to its payrolls. All of Pittsburgh Today’s benchmark regions posted positive job growth in June.  Detroit had the least growth—only .8 percent increase during the 12-month period.

The story of job growth in the seven-county Pittsburgh Metropolitan Statistical Area has been one of consistency. Yet that growth continued to trail the benchmark average of 2.1 percent from June 2017 to June 2018.  Austin, Texas led the way with 4.5 percent job growth during this period.

“Job growth is not jumping off the charts. It’s not zero. It’s been same old thing for the past several months,” said Chris Briem, regional economist at the University of Pittsburgh University Center for Social and Urban Research.

Construction employment, which peaks during the summer months was particularly high in June.

“The local construction employment is higher than it has been since the period when we were building the two stadiums at the beginning of the century,” said Briem.

This is likely due to steady growth in seasonal construction jobs coupled with a surge in employment on the ethane cracker plant in Beaver, according to Briem.

Most of the major job sectors continued the same growth trajectory they’ve been on this year.  Jobs in mining, logging and construction (up 3.4 percent), business and professional services (up .4 percent), leisure and hospitality (up 2.4 percent) education and health services (up 1.7 percent) increased, while jobs in retail, wholesale trade, financial activities, information and trade, transportation and utilities declined.