Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Pittsburgh Area Unemployment Rate Holds Steady in September

With the Pittsburgh area jobless rate holding steady at 4.6% for September actual opportunity for job seekers still appears to remain robust compared to the past 5 years. Although this does not tie in to actual strong job growth for our area (job growth still remains stagnant in southwest Pennsylvania) demand for qualified workers in most hourly categories continues to outpace last year due primarily to the number of retirements and population outflow.

This sets up a dichotomy in Pittsburgh’s job market of at least temporarily increasing opportunity for those searching for jobs while not creating new positions that increase overall economic growth and stems the tide of population outflow, especially among young professionals.

Without getting into political debate about what could or should be done to turn the tide and create a spark that stimulates actual job growth (which is not the purpose of this blog) we are certainly at a juncture where decisive action has the potential of reaping greater rewards than at any time in the past decade.

Previous postings have touched on the causes of our long term job growth problems as reported by local media and experts. An excellent blog to follow is Harold Miller’s Pittsburgh’s Future blog. As Pittsburgh enters a long period of demand for the building trades and other opportunities, it is up to state and local government to take action and build on the momentum.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Pittsburgh Region Second Highest Job Growth Area for Online Recruitment in September

According to the Monster Local Employment Index Pittsburgh has become the second fastest growth market in the country for online recruitment. Particular strength was cited for the blue collar, hourly jobs arena including food prep, transportation and skilled technical jobs (mechanics, maintenance, repair).

This is inline with what we have seen, as well as healthcare, hospitality and sales. Although this does not directly translate into improved job growth overall, it does show a strengthening of opportunity for job seekers in our area.

Employers are telling us in Pittsburgh it has become noticeably more difficult to recruit qualified workers, while post secondary career schools are seeing a comprehensive slowdown in applications from job seekers seeking re-training. Both are symptoms of job supply and demand transitioning from a buyers market to a sellers market. Below is an excerpt from the actual report:

Online Job Demand in Pittsburgh Jumps in September, According to the Monster Local Employment Index

PITTSBURGH, October 18, 2007 – The Monster Local Employment Index for Pittsburgh notched a solid four-point gain in September as online recruitment activity and related job opportunities reached a new historical Index high. The 16-point, or 15-percent, over-the-year rise establishes Pittsburgh as the Index’s second-fastest growing major online recruitment market in the country, reflecting tight labor market conditions and sustained print-to-online migration of help-wanted advertising. Results for Pittsburgh over the past 13 months are as follows:

The food preparation and serving category registered the highest rate of increase in online job availability during September, and is the top growth category for Pittsburgh year-over-year. Pittsburgh remains the top growth market among the 28 tracked by the Index for this category, indicating high demand in the local accommodation and food services industry. Arts, design, entertainment, sports, and media also posted a significant gain last month. During September, online job availability also continued to increase for major blue-collar occupations such as installation, maintenance, and repair; production; and transportation and material moving. In contrast, both protective services; and community and social services reported sharply fewer opportunities than last month. In the white-collar segment, the business and financial operations and legal categories both edged higher and remained moderately improved from a year ago. The only category showing reduced online job availability compared to a year ago is life, physical, and social science, which dipped two points, or two percent. In all, 15 occupational categories rose in September, while three declined one was flat.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Pittsburgh Job News for Hourly Job Seekers

On the job news front over the past month it has been a mixed bag for Pittsburgh job seekers. The announced decision by US Air to cut yet another forty plus flights a day and the resulting loss of another 450 Pittsburgh area jobs was bad news.

The good news out weighs the bad if measured on a job creation scale. Giant Eagle is purchasing Le Natures bottling plant in Latrobe. This will result in an immediate 75 jobs recreated, and the possibility of many more over the next two years. Also in the grocery business, Aldi’s Foods is in the process of adding 7 more locations around the southwest Pennsylvania area. No official job count has been released, but based on current per store staffing this should add more than 175 jobs over the next year. BONY / Mellon Bank has announced it will increase Pittsburgh area employment by at least 150 new jobs over the next year. Columbia Gas has announced it will be replacing more than 2,400 miles of aging gas lines over the next 20 year and create about 400 new jobs in southwest Pennsylvania.

Totaling up these headline reports, we have 450 jobs leaving town (all from US Air) but over 800 jobs coming in.

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