Friday, May 30, 2014

The good, the bad and the quantifable

The good... yet another month that Pittsburgh's unemployment rate stayed well below the national average.

The bad.  The stats show no growth in manufacturing and looking at news items more recent than captured in the latest data, the draining away continues across an incredibly wide spectrum of manufacturing jobs. Note new job losses in cookies (and yes that is a non-durable manufacturing industry). See: Otis Spunkmeyer plant to close, leaving 130 employees jobless and a similar number of jobs lost in nuclear waste storage containers:  GE-Hitachi closing Canonsburg facility in October

A hundred jobs here, a hundred there, it adds up... and may explain a bit why any net gain is elusive no matter what other expansions or ribbon cuttings there may be out there.

Also a bit disappointing is a sidebar that some new Alcoa manufacturing jobs are decidedly not here. The big thing for me in this is, the jobs were not lost to a location in the South or West, but to Indiana and right in the middle of all that was once the rust belt. See: Alcoa to build $100M plant in LaPorte.  But note also the line in the article where it says the "plant is part of Alcoa Inc.’s strategy to downplay its roots as a mining and aluminum-smelting company." Something not so much noticed here, but Alcoa is moving on in a sense.


Anonymous The Wiz said...

Alcoa is moving to to an advanced manufacturer of aluminum products instead of just supplying raw materials. Smart move as it helps improve their potential market. And Gov Pence, hopefully our next Pres, has done a great job of making Indiana more business friendly.

As to an earlier discussion; just read in the Game News that Greene county was 19% woodland in 1960 and now has 60% woodland coverage. Thats more than triple....a lot of farms that reverted back to forest. Would love to see more research on W Pa on that subject.

Saturday, May 31, 2014 9:51:00 AM  

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