Monday, January 02, 2017

Population past - population future: migration and Pittsburgh

Reading the PG piece parsing some migration data from American Community Survey: Philadelphia to Pittsburgh, a moving trend.  The punch line: the data shows a net gain of population due to migration from Philadelphia to Pittsburgh (metropolitan areas, respectively)

I figure I should update my graphic tracking the relative difference between the unemployment rates in Pittsburgh and the United States.  Why do I care?   Mostly because when it comes to economic migration within the United States, this is a pretty solid predictor of net migration rates across metro areas, or at the very least it has been for Pittsburgh.  '

The PG piece used some data the Census gnomes have put out looking at migration between metropolitan areas over the period 2010-2014. That happens to be at the end of a unprecedented period when Pittsburgh maintained a streak of monthly unemployment rates below the national average.  Basically for 99 continuous months, the local unemployment rate was below the national average. For 109 months the local unemployment rate did not exceed the national average (there were a few moths in there where the two rates were the same.)   Few really noticed, but I do not there was any comparable period that was true for a longer period of time since metropolitan region unemployment metrics were regularly reported in the late 1940s.  Think about that. 

Unsurprisingly for most of those years the Pittsburgh MSA showed positive net in-migration, also an unprecedented demographic trend to be sustained for Pittsburgh since the 1940s. 

Alas, it probably isn't true right now.  See the  trend really was broken in February 2014, and since then the local unemployment rate has been above the national average.  That isn't the end of the world, but what is problematic is how far above the national average Pittsburgh's unemployment rate has been.  For both October and November, Pittsburgh unemployment rate has been 1.2 percentage points above the national average. That also is unprecedented in that you have to go back to the mid 1980s (not a good period for Pittsburgh) when the local rate was so far above the national rate.  As long as you have that type of differential, you will have folks finding better opportunities elsewhere and you will see working age population migration follow.

The future??   Pittsburgh's unemployment rate dropped 0.3 percentage points between October and November.  That, by the way, was the biggest month over month drop in 16 years one of the biggest month over month drops in decades. So a good sign for the local economy and a sign the local job market is tightening.  But the national unemployment rate dropped by the same 0.3 percentage points at the same time.  As long as you see such tight labor markets across the nation, and so much tighter than here, you just can't expect there to be net migration flows like what we saw over those 109 months where Pittsburgh fared at least we well as the nation.  Pittsburgh may do better than it has in the past, but there are just too many places with too many opportunities to expect Pittsburgh to pull folks given the relatively higher unemployment rate here. 

For now and for the next couple years at least - remembering most data like the Philadelphia migration story today, are pretty much backward-looking due to the latency of data coming out - the story will be of population loss due to net out-migration and continuing natural population decline (deaths exceeding births) endemic to Pittsburgh since the 1990s.  Lots of other local stories follow from all of this... Allegheny County population trends... city of Pittsburgh population trends and all sorts of real estate trends.  So....   watch this space?  Maybe,    



Blogger John Gotaskie said...

But this is MSA data, right? What is the Allegheny County & Pittsburgh data? I am specifically wondering if there has been a significant divergence between Allegheny County and the gas and coal regions of the MSA. Given how poorly those sectors are fairing, I am honestly wondering if things are different in Allegheny County.

Wednesday, January 04, 2017 3:03:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The numbers reported in the Post-Gazette graphic appear to be driven by college students. +2,165 from Philadelphia and +1,378 from New York City. Pitt enrolls 3,506 students from Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery and Philadelphia counties. Another 1,363 are from New Jersey, probably 1/3 from Philadelphia metro and 2/3 from NY metro. Assuming, ¼ of the student body moves here each year, that accounts for at least 990 of the net gain from Philadelphia. That’s just from Pitt. Statistics from CMU and Duquesne are not defined by county, but each probably bring about 200 students a year from the Philadelphia area. Youngstown, Buffalo and Canton are all within the “studentshed” of Pitt, but probably aren’t populous enough to send that many students here. Youngstown and Canton are in that supercommuter range where a person could take a job in the Pittsburgh metro area, and then move closer to work. While this could happen in both directions, because Pittsburgh is so much larger, it’s likely to be the winner. These areas also have economies that make Pittsburgh look dynamic.
Now on to our population losses. Erie’s a bit hard to figure out. I thought Slippery Rock was about the northern limit of our exurban exodus. Edinboro University enrolls about 1,060 students from Allegheny-Beaver-Butler-Westmoreland, which might account for about 250+ per year of the loss. Penn State Behrend is the other likely institution but I can’t find county-level statistics at the campus level. But really, it’s not big enough, and I’ve never met anyone from Pittsburgh going there. -760 going to State College, PA. Seems to me there’s some sort of large university there. It’s surprising that the number isn’t much higher, but I expect many graduates return home. -600 to Boston. I understand there are a few schools there that are highly regarded. -563 to Tampa and -510 to San Antonio. Classic sunbelt retirees?
The story here is not so much that a college student moved from Philadelphia to Pittsburgh. What’s welcome is that some of them are staying here. And we are no longer seeing them being offset by streams of people moving to Charlotte, Houston, Phoenix, Las Vegas, Atlanta… This doesn’t undercut the observation that we’re not a major immigration destination at all. It really underscores the extent to which our universities are driving our regional economy.

Wednesday, January 04, 2017 5:45:00 PM  
Blogger قمة الدقة said...

شركة قمة الدقة للخدمات المنزلية
شركة كشف تسربات المياه بالاحساء
شركة تنظيف بيارات بالدمام
شركة تنظيف بيارات بالخبر
شركة تسليك مجارى بالدمام
شركة تسليك مجارى بالخبر

Tuesday, August 01, 2017 4:49:00 PM  

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