Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Pittsburgh's February Jobless Rate

The latest numbers out from state Department of Labor and Industry for February, as reported in the Post Gazette by Steve Massey, show our jobless rate to be at a 37 year low at 3.9%. Before we all start popping corks in celebration, the numbers need to be brought into a proper light – what does this mean for an unemployed resident? With a 3.9% unemployment rate it is expected to be officially a seller’s, or jobseeker’s, market. Caution needs to be used due to how an unemployment rate is calculated. The jobless rate takes into account the number of not just jobs, but jobseekers as well. The number of jobseekers is reported to have declined by 7,000, while the official number of new jobs only increased by 2,000.

Because of the relatively small sample size use to calculate individual county rates, the number’s accuracy will take a few more months to verify. A concurrent survey of employers in our area shows an increase of over 9,000 jobs year to date over 2006.

As we have in the past in our writings, we will use ourselves, the Employment Guide, as a barometer. Our business is solely derived by the demand for hourly jobs. That is, the more in demand hourly workers are by employers in our area, the more difficult it is to find qualified workers. This forces employers to look at new or additional means to attract these workers. The “sign in the window” no longer works, or works as well. Based on our business climate these past 3 months we have no doubt our hourly job market has tightened over the first quarter. Has it actually dropped to a 37 year low? Probably not, but the trend toward a seller’s market is definitely in place with the prospects of continuing tightness over at least the next 3 years now excellent. Certainly this is great news for jobseekers, if not for employers trying to find them!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Great Story. Nice Blog.

Truly a 'Burgh Thing!

Truly a 'Burgh Thing!
by Randy Bish, Pittsburgh Tribune Review

Job News and Information for Job Seekers and Recruiters

Job News and Information for Job Seekers and Recruiters