Big numbers and little numbers
More interesting to me is that we are now 81 months below the national unemployment rate, but there are other numbers of note. We focus mostly on seasonally adjusted labor force data for a reason, but the raw, or unadjusted, employment count for the Pittsburgh MSA is coming in at 1.202 million in July. That would be the first time the employment count for the 7 county (current MSA definition) region has gone over 1.2 million. Yes, ever. As in ever including before steel jobs went into freefall.
Also of note is that seasonally adjusted employment in the MSA is up 18.6K year over year to 1.183mil in July, also a new all time peak. Basically every month will be a new all time peak as long as there is any positive trend upwards. I am more interested in the labor force trends. Pittsburgh MSA labor force is up a decent 12.9K year over year. Not the biggest of increases, but when you realize a lot of regions are doing much better this year it is a good sign we are keeping on pace competitively. Earlier in the year my big question was whether convergence was going to catch up to Pittsburgh and we were going to end our streak of faring better than the nation by these metrics. Seems like it has opened up again in a good way, for now.
Anyways.... my relative unemployment graphic to date.