Report: Region enduring economic turbulence well
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A report Wednesday underscored what city officials have been saying for some time -- that the Pittsburgh area has been weathering the recession and its aftermath better than other metropolitan areas.
The report, released by the U.S. Conference of Mayors and Council for the New American City, said Pittsburgh is one of 52 metropolitan areas that already recovered all of the jobs they lost during the recession or are expected to do so by year's end.
Pittsburgh is one of 26 areas in the latter group. Indeed, by year's end, it's expected to have gained ground, researchers said.
The area had about 1.15 million jobs before the recession and lost about 37,500 during the downturn, said the report, prepared by IHS Global Insight. By the end of 2012, the area is expected to have 1.16 million jobs, or about 10,300 more than before the recession.
The new report echoes a previous study that the conference and council released in June. The new report says the natural gas industry has contributed to the Pittsburgh area's economy but doesn't cite other areas of growth.
The report is "not a surprise to us," Joanna Doven, Mayor Luke Ravenstahl's spokeswoman, said, citing a spate of commercial and residential development Downtown and in other parts of the city. "We must not rest on our laurels or any positive report. We have to keep working together," she said, calling for continued efforts to lure private investment.
For about 80 regions, "full recovery is over five years away," the report said. "The recovery is very uneven across U.S. regions, with the southeastern and southwestern metros, who were most affected by the housing bubble, looking ahead to years of recovery."
In addition to job numbers, the report included data on exports, home prices and household income for more than 360 metropolitan areas.
Pittsburgh ranked 19th in value of exported merchandise, with $6 billion in exported goods through the first half of 2010. While median home prices in many areas were down from 2010 to last year, Pittsburgh's was up 3.4 percent, to $119,751, the report said.
First Published January 19, 2012 12:00 am