Pittsburgh Area Unemployment The Lowest It's Been Since 1970

Mar 13, 2019

Unemployment in the Pittsburgh region is at 3.8 percent, the lowest it's been since 1970 -- before the collapse of the steel industry. The latest numbers are for January, and reflect the seven-county Pittsburgh Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA). 

This is just a hair lower than the national average in January of four percent. 

"It's not that we have zoomed ahead of the nation yet, and that's a very important thing," said University of Pittsburgh economist Chris Briem. "A lot of the regions we're competing with for workers are also having very low unemployment rates."

Briem said this means Pittsburgh-region employers are going to have to work harder to attract talent to the region.

"Which will mean raising wages at the end of the day," he said. "If you really want to bring workers here, you'll need to offer them wages that induce that."

Unemployment nationally has been steadily declining since the recession a decade ago, when unemployment peaked at about 10 percent.