Friday, July 20, 2012

All time peak employment

Yes it is indeed all-time...  as in ever..  peak employment for Pittsburgh employment with the release of June data on total nonfarm jobs in the region.  We will likely see an (I guess I should say another) all-time peak labor force number for the region for the same period when that data is  released next week. (week and a half actually)

Yes.. a peak higher than anything before steel declined and now a peak above the somewhat artificial summer of 2001 which had a lot of construction going on.  Take out that itinerant construction employment and the trend has looked a lot more positive over much of the decade than many want to acknowledge.  Not really 'new' news in that we have been hitting comparative month peak employment since last fall., In many ways this was inevitable at some point over the summer... but there was that summer of 2001 all-time peak that kept the declarative a bit equivocable. 

What is interesting to me at least is that this all-time peak actually is coming in several months before I predicted.  That is awfully interesting.  Also quite interesting because we tad are hitting this peak with regional construction employment still relatively depressed compared to recent history.  If you net out construction employment which can be highly variable, the latest numbers look a whole lot better than they do nominally. Seriously, construction employment in the region was nearly 18% higher 5 years ago if you compare June data.  If we had those jobs back then we would really be well into a new peak in local jobs.

Anyway... I am sure there is some negative way to spin it all.  Just may need to be a bit more creative than usual about it.

But why did this happen sooner than expected?  That is important since it says a lot more than the level does about where the future is going.  Here is a parse worth looking at.  Below is the change in total nonfarm jobs between May and June of each year.  Note that the data just out for 2012 is a large measure bigger than any comparable jump over the last 20+ years. 


3 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Will it hold? I think the past few months have been monthly records but then revised downwards...

Saturday, July 21, 2012 7:49:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Interesting. Is it the greater number of women in the workforce that allows for the higher job numbers alongside lower population levels?

Sunday, July 22, 2012 8:14:00 AM  
Anonymous BrianTH said...

Increased labor force participation by women is a significant part of the long term trend, but the short term trend very likely means the working age population is increasing at (for our region) a relatively rapid pace.

And incidentally, that includes the City and Allegheny County, not just the Metro as a whole, based on labor force data.

Sunday, July 22, 2012 10:20:00 AM  

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