Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Disruption happens

In 1908 the U.S. Steel Corporation built its first  electric arc furnace steel plant at it's Gary Works in Indiana. Electric arc furnaces later became the core of the disruptive technology known as the steel mini-mill

So maybe U.S.S. was not as swift as we might have hoped for in taking advantage of its early lead in the new technology. But better late than never. Yesterday in the WSJ: ‘Times Have Changed’: New Plan For a Century-Old U.S. Steel Mill.


Anonymous BrianTH said...

It would be stretching to even call this tangential, but I wanted to note that if I am reading the BLS data correctly, Pennsylvania was up 19,000 jobs in December 2013 over December 2012 (+0.3%), and the Pittsburgh MSA alone was up 14,200 jobs (+1.2%). In other words, tepid jobs growth in PA ex-PGH is not just a Marcellus thing.

And to make it just slightly relevant--Manufacturing employment in the Pittsburgh MSA was down over the year. I suspect regional manufacturing output, however, was not down, or at least not down as much. So the sort of disruption caused by the introduction of labor-productivity increasing (and therefore labor-count decreasing) technologies is marching on here as well as elsewhere.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014 8:27:00 AM  
Blogger C. Briem said...

I was having a hard time parsing too much interesting out of that, but I concur. The Pgh/PA dichotomy is why I react badly to every time someone asks me about the mythical "Pennsylvania Economy."

but on local manufacturing. The December numbers do not as yet include the drop coming from the Horseheads workers. I hear they are having a hard time ramping up their operation down south, but those 500 or so straight up mfg jobs are coming off the books real soon. Nothing on the boards as I can see to make up for that loss.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014 9:08:00 AM  
Anonymous The Wiz said...

How does the Pittsburgh MSA compare to the Philly MSA?

Thursday, January 30, 2014 10:21:00 AM  
Anonymous BrianTH said...

The Philadelphia MSA was reportedly up 8000 jobs year over year in December, which is 0.4%.

I guess that means the rest of the state outside of the Pittsburgh and Philly MSAs was actually minus 3200 jobs. Yikes.

Thursday, January 30, 2014 10:33:00 AM  
Anonymous BrianTH said...

By the way, I believe that is actually just for the Philadelphia Metropolitan Division, which is the the PA counties within the MSA. The entire Philly MSA also includes counties in NJ, DE, and MD.

Thursday, January 30, 2014 10:37:00 AM  
Anonymous The Wiz said...

Part of a long term national trend. The kiddies are leaving the country for the big cities.

Thursday, January 30, 2014 11:06:00 AM  
Anonymous BrianTH said...

Yep. What is a bit new is that Philly was really driving that story in PA, with Pittsburgh often lagging. Since the recession, Pittsburgh has now become the state's biggest rising star. But long term, I expect them both to continue to contribute to, and in fact dominate, the state's economic growth.

Thursday, January 30, 2014 1:16:00 PM  

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