Tuesday, July 30, 2013

To be average

So the headlines are that the unemployment rate in the Pittsburgh MSA fell 1/10th of a percent between May and June and is now at 6.8%.   I will be curious how this all gets written up since the unemployment rate in each of the 7 counties in the MSA is reported as going up over the same period.  Go figure.

By the way the new data has new all-time peaks in both employment and labor force for the region as well.

But 6.8%...  is that high or low?  for Pittsburgh that is.   Here is a factoid.  The average unemployment rate in the Pittsburgh region since January 1980 is also exactly 6.8%.

But we are now up to 80 consecutive months in which the local unemployment rate has been below the national unemployment rate.


Anonymous BrianTH said...

Year over year, that was a very solid labor force number, driven pretty much entirely by the employed count (as I recall, the employed count is the more reliable number, as opposed to the unemployed count).

Anyway, I'd say that unemployment rate is still elevated over what we would expect given healthy local AND state/regional/national economic circumstances. However, it seems clear to me that the reason it is still elevated is almost entirely attributable to an unusual net increase in jobseekers driven by poor economic conditions elsewhere, not some dysfunction in the local economy. And we may well stay elevated until there is an extended period of convergence in that graph, which may still be years away.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013 1:01:00 PM  

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