Now mind you, I have no comment on whether that headline is valid or not for the nation. But I do note that it has little to do with anything in Pittsburgh. With data for February now out, the decline in regional manufacturing employment is, if anything, accelerating. The year over year drop in manufacturing employment (-3.1%) is a lot worse even than what I pointed out just last month when manufacturing was the worst performing sector of the regional economy. Note also that what had been a running year over year decline in eds and meds employment has gone away. Has not trended back to growth yet, but absolutely even employment in February compared to year prior.We will have to see what that trend holds in the future.
BTW, while I have no comment on the national trends, the Wall Street Journals certainly does and note their recent list of the 5 things we learned from the economic census. Just don't stop reading after #1 as many are wont to do.
Put another way, the proportion of regional jobs in Pittsburgh that are at manufacturing industries has now dropped to near its all-time low. The manufacturing job count in Pittsburgh has given back virtually all of the bounceback that came after the Great Recession ended. Wasn't there talk of 'reindustrializing' (if that is a word) Pennsylvania. I am pretty sure the various marketing campaigns out there have swamped any news coverage (to say nothing of all the data) on the topic.
If that is not clear enough, I have not yet begun to parse! Here is the proportion of national manufacturing jobs that are located in Pittsburgh. Never has such an unvarying trend said so much. You rarely can find an economic trend that appears so stable.
But the stability may be a bit illusory, at least for the future. With full disclosure, this is taking the same exact data but way blowing up the scale. How is Pittsburgh doing in recent months? In recent years? Coming back?