Pittsburgh’s ‘economic doldrums’ persist despite low unemployment

(The Center Square ) — Pennsylvania has struggled to reverse population losses in much of the state – this despite its low unemployment rate.

Labor-force participation rates have dropped, and the overall effect has been for “employment doldrums” to set in, as one policy group argues.

For Pittsburgh, the news is more dire.

“Job gains in the state, region and city are weak, especially over the last four years,” Jake Haulk, president-emeritus of the Allegheny Institute for Public Policy, wrote in a recent policy brief.

He called the Pittsburgh metro area’s economic performance “very poor” over the last decade and “even worse” in the last four years.

“Unfortunately, the private sector has not recovered to the 2019 employment level and in 2023 remained 27,000, or 2.5%, below the 2019 count, the highest level posted since 1990,” Haulk wrote.

Though employment hasn’t recovered, workers in Pittsburgh are doing better than most. The Pittsburgh region’s unemployment
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