Thursday, December 01, 2011


Pittsburgh region's unemployment rate down another 4/10ths of a percent between September and October.  The another is the important piece since it was a 4/10ths of a percent decline between August and September.  Not a surprise here of course, but still it seems beyond what anyone can write off as less than good news.  The trend is not done yet given what I see in the CPS data, but we will see.  Gets to whether this is really news.  It really isn't.  Not much really changed over the last two months to justify 8/10ths of a percentage point drop.  I actually just don't think some or even most of the increase in the unemployment rate earlier in the year really reflected what was happening, so the data might be just catching up.

Allegheny County's unemployment rate ought to be noted as well.  Down a full half a percentage point to 6.3% for October.  Can it go lower?  Of course, but by an absolute measure close to 6% unemployment is actually just plain low.. not low compared to the nation.  The average unemployment rate in the Pittsburgh region over the last 40 years, which includes some good and some very bad times of course, is a tad over 6.6%. 

Let's update my graphic of the relative unemployment rate.  Not quite the absolute record, but still rare territory for the region. Important because relative measures like this are often strong indicators of regional migration patterns.  More data on that hopefully coming this month.  So hang on.


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