Tuesday, October 07, 2008

how bad will it get?

In no way is this meant to paint a rosy picture on anything happening in the global financial markets... but listening to the financial talking heads discuss what the worst case scenario is for the US they are talking about the nation hitting an 8% unemployment rate.

Just in the sense of 'we know that pain', Beaver County hit 28% unemployment in January of 1983. 28% which is a rate many parts of the country would never peak at even during the depth of the depression. I know that does not help anyones 401K, but it does get to the core of whatever makes the Pittsburgh psyche unique.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Forest County was regularly approaching/topping 20 percent in the late 1990s and early 2000s. During the one of the greatest economic booms in Western history.

They have since started building prisons in response. Because prisons apparently equal jobs. Until they shut down the prison in Fayette and ship all the guards working there up to Marienville.


Tuesday, October 07, 2008 10:09:00 PM  
Anonymous MH said...

I tried taking that a similar line on another blog I read. What you are saying is true, but it apparently irks people from more prosperous areas to no end. Also, they don't care a whit about Tom Murphy or why I'm insulting him.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008 10:42:00 PM  
Blogger C. Briem said...

That you Sam?

not to quibble since I am sure things are/were not good in Forest county, but this gets to an important point. Lots point to other regions in other periods and think their circumstances were similar to Pittsburgh's experiences so we should not have any different aftereffects. Examples like other rust belt regions in the 80's, maybe Houston in the oil bust, Southern Cal in the last real estate bust.. but all of those examples still pale in comparison to how bad things were here. Forest county: looks like a peak unemployment rate of 16.7% in the middle of 2003. Bad for sure but again, Beaver County's 28% is another whole level of hurt.

That and you just have to at least mention Forest County is 4K people total (including prison) so you are talking about half the size of Bloomfield population-wise. So that 16.7% unemployment in Forest county comes from a total unemployment of 400 people. In the Pittsburgh region total unemployment peaked at over 180K folks.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008 10:52:00 PM  

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