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Economy & Business

Advanced Manufacturing Leads Pittsburgh’s Steady Economic Growth

Gov. Tom Wolf

Automation-driven manufacturing continues to lead steady economic growth in the Pittsburgh-region.  

An annual report released by the Pittsburgh Regional Alliance Thursday said advanced manufacturing in the 10 counties around the city are expected to see $2.9 billion in investments from deals made last year.

The scorecard looks at new deals, as well as the projected jobs and capital investments that go with them. Most of the investments come from expanding existing companies, although the report also tracked about 20 startup companies.

Automated, or advanced, manufacturing is leading the way, the report found. Pittsburgh Regional Alliance President David Ruppersberger said more automation in manufacturing, can be a double edged sword.

“It increases productivity," Ruppersberger said. “Productivity per worker and overall regional productivity has been growing faster than the national average. However, highly automated process take less labor associated with it.” 

Though, the Pittsburgh Regional Alliance report said 5,417 new jobs are expected to be created out of the nearly $3 billion in investments, but Ruppersberger said it could take years.

The scorecard also found growth in the financial, IT and healthcare industries. But Ruppersburger said projects in the energy sector have slowed down. 

“Because of depressed oil prices, the extraction, what they call the upstream part of it, has slowed down,” Ruppersburger said. “What we’ve seen is it shift to what they call the midstream, which is then processing the gas that’s coming out of the ground, transporting it, and then storing it.”