Sunday, June 02, 2013

Pittsburgh by day

So this is the same story from a few years ago really, (or an earlier reference fyi) but a new release of data from the Census folks  calculates the "daytime" populations of most municipalities. See: Commuter-Adjusted Population Estimates: American Community Survey 2006-2010.

So for Pittsburgh, the latest estimate of the city's daytime population is calculated to be 457,049 or more than 48% above the resident (or presumably nighttime) population.  The report is really just looking at flows of commuters to work, and not other potential reasons the daytime population is likely higher than the resident population.  Add in the number of folks coming into the city for school, shopping, business or for most any service including inpatient and outpatient hospital services, and for sure the 'daytime' population for the city of Pittsburgh is much higher.  I'm pretty sure that if we took the time to add up some of those other factors we can get over the 500K number I think people like to quote... or make up depending.

What is really more noteworthy is that this is not just something typical of other cities.  Pittsburgh ranks pretty high compared to all other places in terms of how big a percentage 'surge' of people come into the city each day. When ranked against other large cities Pittsburgh continues to have one of the biggest daytime 'surges.' By my ranking (among the 100 largest 'plaxces') only DC, Atlanta, Orlando, Miami and Paradise, Nevada have larger % increases (I'll post some benchmarking later..) . Paradise is really part of Las Vegas and DC is arguably an artificial concentration of government jobs.  So Pittsburgh comes pretty close to the top. If only we had Disney World here to get us past Orlando....

Actually what is worth noting is the trend.  The first link there is from a 2006 story which looked back on older data which calculated Pittsburgh's 'daytime' surge to be +41%.  So we are not getting an estimated +48% surge likely reflecting the decline in population over the decade coupled with the stability in the number of jobs. 

Pittsburgh's high ranking is a function of our fragmentation locally and how small the city of Pittsburgh is within the labor shed.  Also the remarkable number of jobs that have remained concentrated within the center city.   Again as I've mentioned before:  The City of Pittsburgh has a nearly identical number of jobs located within the city proper as it did over a half century ago if not further in the past. So population decline for sure, but whenever anyone says the number of 'jobs' in the city has gone down in either the long term or even the short term, ask them what they are referencing.

When you consider the population was a lot bigger back then it must be that that a big chunk of those jobs were retail and service sector jobs directly tied to the resident population.  For the job count to have remained the same, despite the big loss in resident population, there must have been significant growth in jobs that provide goods or services to the world outside of Pittsburgh. 


Anonymous BrianTH said...

DC and Miami are also among the smallest (geographically) major center cities.

Sunday, June 02, 2013 10:41:00 PM  
Anonymous marketdiamond said...

As I'm sure you remember Walt Disney World is not and never has been part of Orlando, it is technically "Lake Buena Vista" & "Bay Lake" part of the governmental "Reedy Creek Improvement District" which is Disney's very own city, so much its own government that it could construct its own airport or nuclear power plant without any interference. My old prof Dr. Richard Fogelsong at Rollins is somewhat an expert in how the Mouse got such a sweetheart deal, and wrote the definitive book on how it all went down. See more here:

Orlando thou is somewhat like Miami in that its very tiny and adds to its "surge" by riding a highway median (436) to annex the International Airport which is a major driver of jobs since most all tourists fly in. So even though all the neighborhoods around the airport aren't in the city the airport is.

Sunday, June 02, 2013 10:58:00 PM  
Anonymous MH said...

Local governments can construct airports and nuclear power plants without federal and state involvement?

Sunday, June 02, 2013 11:06:00 PM  
Anonymous marketdiamond said...

Seems like the wikipedia misspelled his name on the Reedy Creek article, which has been corrected, but for those interested:

Also Orlando does that "ride the median" a lot, such as with SeaWorld, Universal Studios etc., all the neighborhoods are not in the city but the tourist strips and the minimum wage jobs are, also in one of the few ways its like Pittsburgh, downtown Orlando is the hub for federal, medical and service jobs for the farflung retirement communities in the area like everybodys favorite "The Villages" etc. thats why you see Orlando up there.

Sunday, June 02, 2013 11:13:00 PM  
Anonymous marketdiamond said...

To MH, Walt Disney World can! There is no local, municipal, county nor state "interference" in anything Walt Disney World does, in function they are much like a Home Rule locality. And because it is a corporation they don't have "citizen review boards", "waiting periods" for petitions, "public hearings" and votes. Yes the proper federal rubber stamps will be needed but thats it. In fact WDW got to the point in the early 1970s where they were underway with their own International Airport before the locals got to upgrading MCO.

Tallahasee's 1965 agreement is all in Foglesongs book and other news archives, it surprises a lot of visitors to realize WDW is almost the 51st state though in practical terms they have chosen not to use all those powers for instance the County Sheriff Department does come in as a secondary/investigative unit at times.

Sunday, June 02, 2013 11:25:00 PM  
Anonymous MH said...

Even if you can build that plant, I'm pretty sure there's some type of form you need to file with the feds before they sell you fuel-grade uranium.

Sunday, June 02, 2013 11:56:00 PM  
Anonymous marketdiamond said...

MH as far as ''IF'' Disney would ever do it you are most probably correct. The larger point of Fogelsong's book et. al. was that they could do these things without the endless state-county-city level citizen committees, review boards, petitions, council meetings, votes, and all the publicity that those self-generate.

Even better for Disney, it has been used and was probably designed to leverage the local governments into corporate welfare, I know Orlando/Orange County did not want all future air traffic going onto a self contained self sufficient Disney airport and locking out the surrounding attractions/communities, so in effect Disney got a relatively adjacent world class airport with a new tollway connection built at complete taxpayer expense because of the threat that Disney could with a D.C. rubber stamp build their own. I'm sure they get a really big discount on power with that other leverage too. In a way its almost like the Steelers or Pirates when it's time for seat expansions ;-P.

Monday, June 03, 2013 12:32:00 AM  
Blogger C. Briem said...

The question is... does Epcot Center get CDBG money?

Monday, June 03, 2013 10:11:00 PM  
Anonymous marketdiamond said...

I wouldn't be surprised there was community development block grant funds, and if ever there was a perfect development for those then Celebration (Walt's real EPCOT vision manifested 20 years later) would have. A corporate run utopian democracy if you can believe such a thing.

Tuesday, June 04, 2013 5:56:00 AM  

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