Monday, December 15, 2008

The Experts Back up What We’ve Been Saying All Year about the Pittsburgh Job Market

Whether you are currently unemployed or fearful you may be soon, Pittsburgh is one of the better places in the country to be living right now. We have certainly seen a decline in opportunities compared to last year but the decline is not as severe as many other areas around United States. Here are some of the recent reports on the Pittsburgh job market:

Harold Miller, Pittsburgh’s Future Blog

Pittsburgh Post Gazette

Pittsburgh Business Times

Channel 4, WTAE

Pittsburgh Tribune Review

Pittsburgh Tribune Review 2

The first quarter of 2009 will continue to show deterioration in Pittsburgh’s job market. We’ll keep on watch to give reports as we see them and report ourselves on what we are seeing directly from Pittsburgh are employers.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Pittsburgh's Hottest and Weakest Job Categories

It’s mid November and with the national economic news enough to scare even the sanest of us into a catatonic state what is a job seeker to do? Regardless of your current employment status; safely employed, under employed, barely employed or unemployed be grateful if you live in the Pittsburgh region, still considered one of the better job markets in the country.

With that said we are unquestioningly seeing a softening in demand in a number of job categories while a few are surprisingly maintaining and even increasing demand. Most positions in healthcare and education are the top in demand. Weakest job categories in Pittsburgh include retail and automotive (not surprisingly), although mechanics and body shop technicians are still in high demand. What is a bit surprising is the current strength of hospitality, banking, customer service and maintenance technicians. Construction (mostly commercial/industrial) worker demand also remains strong factoring in seasonality.

What next month or next year will bring is literally anybodies guess. We have read projections as optimistic as a rebound as early as next fall and as pessimistic as late 2010 (again, national figures). We here tend to be optimists. The new administration will at the very least offer new hope to the majority of the country. With new hope comes improved optimism. With improved optimism (and lower gas prices!) dollars will begin flowing again from consumers, even if it starts as just a trickle.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

September 2008 Sees Improved Job Count For Pittsburgh Region

Although the data was taken just prior to the burgeoning financial crises, the Pittsburgh Metro in September saw an increase of over 7,000 jobs from September of 2007. How the job picture will look over the next two months in our area is anybody’s guess, but multiple points of interest have been expressed by area economists. Articles in the Post Gazette and the Tribune-Review show different levels of optimism. We at the Employment Guide saw a relatively strong September but experienced a softening in October compared to a year ago. Remember, we are solely dependent on the placement of help-wanted ads or help-wanted Internet text postings. Our prediction, based on our direct business experience, is that we will see a moderate drop on total jobs in the Pittsburgh Metro when the October numbers are released in another month. As noted in all of the area economist quotes, our strength in healthcare will be the main mitigating factor of how many jobs are lost. Retail is one area being negatively affected in Pittsburgh, although with the opening of Nordstrom and LL Bean the amount of weakness will be diminished at least in the near term.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Fall Pittsburgh Diversity Employment and Career Education Expo Coming October 1st

The autumn edition of the Pittsburgh Diversity Employment and Career Education Expo is set for October 1st from 10:00AM to 3:00PM at Mellon Arena. A company list is posted below.
As part of the
National Employ the Older Worker Job Fair Series in conjunction with AARP Foundation WorkSearch, this event will also be held in conjunction with the Allegheny County Department of Veteran’s Affairs and The Urban League of Greater Pittsburgh.

All ages are welcome and encouraged to attend. No pre-registration is required and admission is free to all job seekers. We only ask that you come dressed for success and bring plenty of resumes. Parking at the arena, if you drive, costs from $5.95 to $7.95 for all day depending on which lot you use. Of course, Mellon Arena is serviced very well by public transportation, making this event easy to get to.

All job seekers who attend will be eligible to win one of 4 $50.00 gas cards to be given away at the top of each hour -11:00AM, 12:00 noon, 1:00PM and 2:00PM. As you come into the job fair (enter gate 10) you will be given a ticket to be used for the drawings.

Companies will primarily be looking for hourly, entry level up to mid-level skilled positions in Healthcare, Nursing, Sales, Customer Service, Social Services, Retail, Hospitality, Finance / Banking, the Building Trades and more.

Some of the companies and schools attending include:
Coventry Healthcare / Health America, PA Mentor, Advance Auto Parts, Mainstay Life Services, U.S. Navy, SMG, Aramark, PA Army National Guard, H&R Block, Aldi, Community College of Allegheny County, New Century Careers, CVS/Caremark, City of Pittsburgh Diversity 365, Giant Eagle Market District, CCAC Most, All-State Career, The Empyrean Group, Liberty USA, Builders Guild of Western PA, Everest Institute, Giant Eagle Getgo, Transitional Services, Life Pittsburgh, Verizon Wireless, Carnegie Mellon Facilities Management, CEP/Clayton Academy, Kaplan Career Institute, Leed's and more.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Preparing for Tomorrow’s Workplace In Pittsburgh

Thank you to Karrie Valauri of AARP Foundation WorkSearch for submitting this very timely information for our blog. The Pittsburgh "Hire the Older Worker" Job Fair, part of the national series of job fairs in partnership between The Employment Guide, and the AARP Foundation WorkSearch, is coming October 1st at the Mellon Arena.

Interested in Changing Careers?
Interested in Remaining Marketable in the Workforce?
Are you Unemployed or Underemployed?

By 2010, one in three workers will be over the age of 50. As the relative proportion of younger workers declines, attracting and retaining experienced and reliable workers will be as important as ensuring that experienced workers are prepared to meet the skills in demand of the 21st century workplace.

AARP Foundation is dedicated to creating new opportunities for individuals to re-enter the workforce or to remain in the workforce. To assist individuals with obtaining and maintaining the needed skill sets for employability today and in the future, AARP Foundation has developed WorkSearch Programs.

AARP WorkSearch Assessment is an on-line instrument that helps the experienced, mature worker remain in or re-enter the workforce. It identifies work interests, personal characteristics and transferable skills. It offers quick tests to determine if one has the right skills for a job, online training programs to fill skill gaps, and job opportunities by zip code.

The WorkSearch Assessment System encompasses over 1200 job specific on-line courses, eighty of which are certified, and 75% of all job titles in the Bureau of Labor Statistics job bank are represented. It is available at no cost to experience job seekers of all ages and income levels.

“WorkSearch is an excellent tool to help you to focus in on the type of job you want, to evaluate your skills and to recognize skill gaps,” said to Roberta Davis, Employment Specialist for WorkSearch.

New job opportunities, however, often require additional skills, time and money. The right education and training can sometimes be out-of-reach, especially if you have limited financial resources.

Through the Foundation’s Training Assistance Program – the AARP Foundation is providing financial support for training to adult workers (40+) who have incomes that are at or below the median income for their community, and who are interested in training to remain in or re-enter the workforce. Because not everyone has the same interests or learns the same way, the AARP Foundation has established a number of different options, including on-line learning, classroom, and employer-based training to help people gain the skills they need to be competitive for today’s jobs.

Mature workers are being certified in many disciplines through the on-line certifications, including medical coding and billing, project management and technical writing. Classroom training has encompasses nationally recognized Customer Service certification, Quickbooks, and much more. Special on-line opportunities to obtain teaching certifications and bachelor’s degree in the accounting field are also available.

The third program offered locally through WorkSearch is the Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP). This service provides paid training opportunities for unemployed residents of Allegheny County who are 55 years of age or older, who meet income guidelines and are currently seeking employment. Individuals train at non-profit organizations to obtain the experience and skill sets needed to become more marketable.

Past participant, Geraldine McCorkle, is now employed and refers to SCSEP as an “excellent program for seniors to get going and keep going. Thank you.”

AARP is committed to assisting the mature workers with making informed choices regarding employment interests and options, and meeting employment goals. It recognizes that what we do today, we may not be interested in doing or physically capable of doing five, ten years from now. Our skill sets may not correspond to the needs of tomorrow’s employers.

AARP Foundation also supports a National Employer Team for those employers who are interested in securing and maintaining a mature, skilled workforce.

So whether you are an employer interested is retaining a mature workforce, or an individual interested in changing careers, remaining marketable, or re-entering the job market, learn more about how AARP Foundation WorkSearch can help you achieve your goals.

Prepare today for tomorrow’s workforce…let AARP Foundation WorkSearch help you. Contact the local AARP Foundation WorkSearch office at 412-271-1580, or visit

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Manpower Employment Survey Shows Pittsburgh Will not decline in Hiring Activity in Fourth Quarter From Third Quarter, 2008

While nationwide Manpower Survey shows broad decline for fourth quarter hiring plans, Pittsburgh should continue to weather the storm. Though down from year ago levels, quarter to quarter hiring activity should remain the same. Here is the complete news release:

Favorable Job Market Expected for Pittsburgh
September 9, 2008 – Pittsburgh area employers expect to hire at a steady pace during the fourth quarter of 2008, according to the Manpower Employment Outlook Survey.

From October to December, 27% of the companies interviewed plan to hire more employees, while 10% expect to reduce their payrolls, according to Manpower
spokesperson Kelly M. Scott. Another 58% expect to maintain their current staff levels and
5% are not certain of their hiring plans.

“Employers anticipate staff levels to be similar to the third quarter of 2008 when 29% of companies interviewed intended to add employees, and 10% planned to reduce staff levels,” said Scott. “Compared to one year ago when 36% of companies surveyed planned to increase staff levels and 10% expected to cut payrolls, hiring intentions for the fourth quarter are weaker.”

For the coming quarter, job prospects appear best in Durable Goods Manufacturing,
Transportation/Public Utilities and Wholesale/Retail Trade. Employers in Education and Public Administration plan to reduce staffing levels, while those in Services voice mixed hiring intentions. Hiring in Construction, Non-Durable Goods Manufacturing and Finance/Insurance/Real Estate is expected to remain unchanged.

Of the 14,000 employers surveyed in the U.S., 22% expect to increase their staff levels during the October – December period, while 13% expect to reduce their payrolls, resulting in a Net Employment Outlook of 9%. Fifty-nine percent expect no change in hiring and 6% are undecided about their Quarter 4 2008 hiring plans.

The next Manpower Employment Outlook Survey will be released on December 9, 2008 to report hiring expectations for Quarter 1 2009.

Friday, August 29, 2008

The Emmaus Community of Pittsburgh Partners with CCAC and Other Providers on Direct Support Professional Education Program

The Emmaus Community of Pittsburgh, in partnership with CCAC and other providers of intellectual disability services, will offer an eight-week training program at CCAC’s Allegheny campus, beginning October 6th, 2008, for individuals who aspire to work with persons with intellectual disabilities in a residential community setting (group home). The course will be provided free-of-charge to initial participants and is supported by a $45,000 grant from FISA Foundation. According to Lorraine Wagner, Executive Director of the Emmaus Community, the program “aims to target career minded candidates who are empty nesters, high school graduates, unemployed, single parents, or currently employed but seeking a more fulfilling line of work.”

Course participants will receive an introduction to the field, including an overview of the history of mental retardation and the ethics and values that impact on the work of Direct Support Professionals. Other training will include job responsibilities, communication skills, state and county regulations, and the required medication administration and CPR/First Aid certifications. All participants will complete an on-site practicum with local providers, where they will have the opportunity to work first-hand with individuals with intellectual disabilities. Upon successful completion of the program, a certificate will be awarded, and graduates will attend a job fair where they can meet representatives from local intellectual disability service agencies.

Wagner emphasizes that “this unique training program will allow participants to enter into a career in the Direct Support field as true professionals, with all of the information and training that is crucial to providing the highest quality of care.” Wagner says “the program is designed to provide not only a textbook knowledge of Direct Support, but face-to-face experiences. Graduates will have a better understanding of the needs of people with intellectual disabilities and the importance of this very rewarding work.” For more information, contact Karen Jacobsen at 412-381-0277. The deadline for applications to the program is September 19, 2008.

About Emmaus:
Emmaus is a non-profit, 501(c)(3) organization located in Pittsburgh’s South Side which provides permanent homes and care for persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities. For a visit to Emmaus, to share the news of these services with the community in your articles and stories, please contact Emmaus at 412-381-0277

Friday, August 8, 2008

Cranberry Township Retail Project in Jeopardy, over 1,000 New Jobs With It

An ongoing story that has developed over the past three years and well covered by the Pittsburgh Business Times's Tim Schooley and Ben Semmes concerns multiple retail and office projects planned for the Cranberry Twp, PA area near the intersection of I-79 and state route 228.

On the planning block for three years, the cornerstone project involves
Simon Properties, owner of Ross Park Mall, South Hills Village and Century Three Mall, as well as dozens of other properties around the country. This would be a retail project of over 850,000 square feet similar in design to Pittsburgh’s Waterfront in West Homestead.

With a total projected cost of over 85 million dollars, Simon has put together financing of 40 million along with an additional 25 million from state and local sources, leaving a shortfall of 20 million needed to break ground. A large part of the funding would go toward road improvements needed to both
Rt. 228 and to the I-79-Rt 228 interchange to handle projected traffic volumes created by the projects.

A project of this scope, as accessible as it would be, do to it’s location near I-79, I-76 (PA Turnpike), state Rt. 19 and state Rt. 228, would make it a destination for shoppers from a 50 mile radius and more. The number of good jobs created would be over a thousand not counting the additional support and ancillary jobs. Click on the image for a larger view.

It would be more than a shame if this project were to die because this funding gap could not be closed by the unofficial deadline of the end of 2008. Simon Properties has inferred that if no real progress is made by then they will walk away and look elsewhere for investment opportunities.

It’s time our state and federal representatives step up and help close this gap. Opportunities like this are extremely rare. The benefits we would get are regional in scope. Our elected leaders have an opportunity here to show the leadership they were elected to provide. Or they can do nothing.

Friday, August 1, 2008

What Help Wanted Ads Really Mean...

We found this online and thought it was funny ;>)

Job Recruiter Lingo:

Competitive Salary
We remain competitive by paying less than our competitors.

Join our Fast-Pace Team
We have no time to train you.

Casual Work Atmosphere
We don't pay enough to expect that you'll dress up; well, a couple of the real daring guys wear earrings.

Must be Deadline Oriented
You’ll be six months behind schedule on your first day.

Some Overtime Required
Some time each night and some time each weekend.

Duties Will Vary
Anyone in the office can boss you around.

Must have an Eye for Detail
We have no quality control

Apply in Person
If you're old, fat or ugly, you'll be told the position has been filled.

No Phone Calls Please
We've filled the job; our call for resumes is just a legal formality.

Seeking Candidates with a Wide Variety of Experience
You'll need it to replace three people who just left.

Problem-Solving Skills a Must
You’re walking into a company in perpetual chaos

Good Communication Skills
Management communicates, you listen, figure out what they want, and do it.

Require Team Leadership Skills
You’ll have the responsibilities of a manager, without the pay or respect.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Pittsburgh Area Career Schools Being Hit By Weak Pittsburgh Market

While Pittsburgh’s hourly job market continues to hold up relatively well compared to most others around the country, Pittsburgh area career schools are finding student enrollment struggling to keep up with year ago levels.

Not because of a bad local economy. This is because when an area’s job market is doing well, fewer people seek re-training. It is this re-training market that two year schools gain a large percentage of their revenue from. We saw this phenomenon in Florida and the west coast markets back in 2005 and 2006 when the job markets in those areas were booming from the then white hot housing markets. Pittsburgh was still recovering from the huge loss of US Air jobs and a number of large retail chains that closed.

Now it appears the pendulum has swung the other way. With proclaiming Pittsburgh the hottest job market for the 5th month in a row in July based on their
Online Jobs Index in year over year activity (“On an annual basis, Pittsburgh is the only metro market now showing greater online job availability compared to a year ago and remains the Index’s top growth market year-over-year due to continued strong demand for healthcare, IT, education, construction and production occupations”) and as we see our help wanted ad volume hold up well to last year, local Pittsburgh area jobs, led by healthcare and education, though not enjoying large increases year over year, are increasing none the less.

For schools in better job markets to maintain growth it is highly recognized they must be willing to make adjustments to their course offerings to offer training in the areas of particular strength in that market. We are beginning to see that in Pittsburgh with new courses being offered in
Hospitality Management (for the new casino) and in healthcare fields such as Occupational and Physical Therapy Assistants.

As we have predicted in the past Pittsburgh, though certainly not unaffected by the national economy, is continuing to weather the storm relatively well.

Friday, July 18, 2008

2008 Pittsburgh Diversity Employment and Career Education Expo at Mellon Arena Draws Near, Coming July 23rd

The next big job fair in Pittsburgh will be held July 23rd at Mellon Arena. No pre-registration is required. The doors will be open from 10:30AM to 3:00PM. We expect about 30 companies and schools to be in attendance. This event will be in the West Igloo Club Lounge. Job Seekers will enter through Gate 3 (directly in front of the arena).

These include Aldi’s Markets, Community College of Allegheny County, CVS CareMark Pharmacies, Giant Eagle, Leeds, Mainstay Life Services, Sheet Metal Workers, Transitional Services, Waddell and Reed Financial Services, Keystone Community Mental Health Services, Kaplan Career Institute, All-State Truck Driving School, Venturi Staffing Services, SMG Mellon Arena, Aramark, Advance Auto Parts, Army National Guard, Allegheny Correctional Health Services, Medmark, A Walgreens Specialty Pharmacy , Sunrise Assisted Living, Academy of Court Reporting, Life Pittsburgh , Market District,

U.S. Navy, Parkvale Bank, Everest College,
Schenley Gardens Senior Living Community,
HCR Manorcare, Goodwill , Burns & Scalo Roofing and more.

Access is easy by either public transportation or parking in one of the Arena lots (parking will range from $5.95 to $7.00 depending on which lot is used). It is strongly suggested you bring plenty of résumés. Proper attire is required (remember, you are trying to make a good first impression!). Admission is FREE for all job seekers and there is no pre-registration required. Just come on in, meet with company or school representatives, smile, shake hands, ask questions and make a good impression!

This Diversity Job Fair is in partnership with the Urban League of Greater Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh’s CW Television, The Allegheny County Department of Veteran Affairs and AARP Work Search. All companies in attendance are proactively pursuing a diverse workforce. Our partner organizations will be on hand to help you with the employment services they offer.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Hourly Jobs Pace Job Growth in Country’s Hottest Job Market – Pittsburgh

Although we have experienced a seasonal decline in help wanted demand over the past couple of weeks (Memorial Day though the end of June tends to be one of the slowest periods of the year for companies recruiting workers) our metro area continues to be one of the sunniest places to be when it comes to seeking employment. While documented job growth for the Pittsburgh Region is up almost 9,000 jobs from April 2007, we continue to see the opportunities being presented by then need for replacement workers. One of the hottest categories for both new jobs and turnover replacement is in the hospitality industry (hotels and restaurants).

Fortunately the strength is fairly broad based. According the Monster Online Employment Index for April; “On an annual basis, seven of the 28 monitored markets are showing more online job opportunities than a year ago, with
Pittsburgh again ranking as the Index’s top growth market year-over-year, a position it has held for three consecutive months”.

Nursing and Allied Healthcare continue to add jobs month by month and locally the demand for drivers has not abated. In what is one of the devastated industries around the country, fanacial services are regaining strength here, including with the
announcement just today of an additional 135 jobs to be added by BONY/Mellon for their Treasury Services division.

Pittsburgh continues to weather the economic slowdown better than most predicted just 6 months ago.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Majestic Star Casino to Bring Over 1,000 Jobs to Pittsburgh

Guest Blooger Heather Johnson is a regular commentator on the subject of how to become a pharmacist. She welcomes your feedback and potential job inquiries at

Although the gaming industry is something new to the Pittsburgh area, the Majestic Star casino could be very beneficial to the local workforce. The establishment will be offering more than 1,000 new jobs to the area in May 2009. This could be a great opportunity for many jobseekers, as the casino will be offering competitive salaries and benefits. However, working in a casino is not for everyone.
Luckily, the Northside Leadership Conference (NSLC) and the Community College of Allegheny County (CCAC) are working together in order to create free workshops for potential casino employees. These workshops seek to answer questions about applying for a casino job, what it is like to work in the gaming industry and what kind of future it holds for employees.
These community workshops will be called "So You Think You Want To Work in a Casino?" and will begin later in the month. Although the workshops will share some information that was provided by Majestic Star, the instructors will be completely objective. The potential drawbacks to working for the gaming industry will definitely be covered, as well.
As noted above, working for a casino is not for everyone. Naturally, there are people who may not agree with gambling and those people will certainly not want to work for Majestic Star. Also, the establishment may require some very odd hours and demanding job performances. On the other hand, there is some great room for promotion and the industry offers competitive hourly wages.
Even though the Majestic Star casino will not open its doors for another year, the establishment will begin its hiring much sooner. Also, some positions may require credentials from the state of Pennsylvania. If you are uncertain about your ability or desire to work for Majestic Star, a free workshop could come in very handy. For more information, citizens are encouraged to visit the NSLC's
official site.

Friday, May 9, 2008

As Pittsburgh Heads the Curve Nationally in Older Workers a New Job Board is Launched Targeting the 40+ Job Seeker

With Pittsburgh remaining one of the hotter job markets around the nation due mostly to the hiring of replacement workers because of the larger percentage of workers reaching retirement age a new website was just launched targeting the 40+ job seeker. was specially designed for baby boomers and employers seeking to reach them. Content on the site is focused toward advice for this age group in their job search as well as job opportunities specifically from companies open to hiring them due to their higher skill levels, dependability, loyalty and work ethic.

With the AVERAGE age in the Pittsburgh metro area approaching 40 (according to the 2000 census the average age in this area reached 39, where nationally it was 34) this is welcome news as the 40+ age group is the fastest growing demographic using the Internet. Our area is currently losing more employees to retirement than are coming into the workforce from our schools. This is creating higher demand for workers 40+

Although the website is very young, look for lots of updates coming over the next 6 months. According to Amy Hoster, Product Development Manager for, is dedicated to the largest growing demographic in the country, the Baby
Boomers. 80% of the baby boomers plan to work at least part-time past the traditional retirement
age. Alliance for the Experienced Workforce reports “By 2010 nearly 1 in every 3 hourly workers in the United States will be over the age of 50.” Baby Boomers skills, knowledge, and experience are
invaluable to our economy and our labor market, and now to recruitment managers across the country.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

The Employment Guide® Re-launches

The Employment Guide® ( has announced the re-launch of its health care Web site, HealthCareerWeb (

Redesigned and re-engineered to make searching for health care jobs fast and easy, the new HealthCareerWeb is the first recruitment destination designed exclusively for the health care industry to offer social networking.

"HealthCareerWeb offers more than the opportunity for recruiters to attract job seekers; it's the first free recruitment social networking Web site designed exclusively for its members to seek and share information pertaining to the health care industry," said Denise Tanner, business development manager of HealthCareerWeb.

The MedCom area of the site is a medical community where visitors can connect with one another to gain knowledge about the industry. HealthCareerWeb Forums offer an informal place where job seekers can post questions and articles about careers in health care. Another section includes medical videos that give an insider's look at what it's like to work in various medical professions. The site also includes a calendar of medical events, which can be sorted by state.

Jeff Littlejohn, Vice President/General Manager of The Employment Guide, commented, "Our newest product is specifically designed to meet the needs of both job seekers and recruiters in the growing healthcare industry. We have incorporated the benefits of a social networking environment to further enhance the user experience while increasing awareness among health care professionals about professional communities and events." For more information, contact Employment Guide's Pittsburgh office at 412-257-7801.


HealthCareerWeb, a division of The Employment Guide, offers a powerful platform for advertising niche jobs in the health care industry. This targeted site offers job seekers more than just job opportunities. Free member resources include resume posting, social networking, localized event listings, health care forum, and an industry-specific video center.

The Employment Guide also hosts, transportation-specific Magazine and and vertical search aggregator,

About Dominion Enterprises

Dominion Enterprises, Norfolk, Va., is a leading marketing services company serving employment, automotive, real estate, marine,recreation and industrial markets. The company has more than 500 magazine titles, over 40 market-leading Web sites, and operates a variety of Web and technology businesses. The company has annualized revenue of more than $946 million and has more than 6,000 employees nationwide. For more information, visit

Friday, April 18, 2008

Pittsburgh Job Market Hot-Hot-Hot

The Monster Employment Index was released today for March and again Pittsburgh’s online recruitment activity continues one of the largest growth rates in the country, reflecting the broad-based need for workers across most job categories. Up 4% in March over February, the Index also shows a healthy increase of 9.2% over March of 2007 while nationally numbers are down 10% from 2007.

Weak job categories included Sales, Protective Services, Management, and Food Prep. The strongest growth year over year has come in Healthcare, Healthcare Support, Construction, Production and Installation, Maintenance and Repair.

“Online Job Availability Rises in 10 of the Top 28 Major U.S. Metro Markets”

During March, online recruitment activity rose in 10 of the 28 U.S. metro areas
monitored by the Index, with Portland showing the largest increase, fueled by higher demand for healthcare and public service professionals. Seattle was the second strongest market on the month, followed by Pittsburgh, Detroit and Cleveland. Meanwhile, Boston and San Francisco registered the sharpest declines, reflecting lower online recruitment activity for white-collar occupations.

On an annual basis, six of the 28 markets are now showing greater online job availability compared to a year ago, with Pittsburgh ranking as the top growth market year-over year for the second consecutive month. Houston and Dallas remained among the top five amid continued high demand for healthcare, military and management occupations. In contrast, Los Angeles has registered the steepest drop over the past 12 months, burdened by fewer opportunities in construction.”

Friday, April 11, 2008

How is The Pittsburgh Job Market Faring Now?

As we enter mid-April having been witness to all the economic carnage across the country every day in our living rooms courtesy of the news media, how is the job market here in Pittsburgh faring?

As a media that includes weekly print, one of the largest job boards on the Internet and Comcast Video on Demand Jobs across southwestern Pennsylvania we continue to see strong demand across most hourly job categories that is higher than what we saw a year ago.

In March the Monster Employment Index, which measures the level of online recruitment activity in select markets around the country, named Pittsburgh one of the 4 hottest metros in the country for online ad volume.

According to Harold Miller, President of Future Strategies, LLC, a consulting firm specializing in analysis, strategy, and communication and a contributing columnist for the Pittsburgh Post-gazette on economic matters, the reason for this strength is not job GROWTH, but the demand for replacement workers. With Pittsburgh being one of the oldest markets in the country, as measured by median age of the population, the number of residents entering retirement years is beginning to exceed the number of younger workers entering the labor force. This is creating a higher number of opportunities for employment across most categories. The most in-demand workers continue to be anything in the healthcare field.

Another helpful influence to remaining strong in employment opportunity is the local housing market. While many areas of the country experienced double digit growth in home values due in part to speculators and low interest rates, the Pittsburgh housing market saw only gradual, sustainable growth of a few percentage points per year. Because of this, home values never reached levels beyond reality and so are projected to continue slow sustainable growth in the future.

These reflections on our local economy do not mean we will not and have not felt the effects of the current recession. They do show that our area should weather this economic storm better most areas of the country.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

2008 Pittsburgh Employment and Career Education Expo

The Pittsburgh area’s next big Diversity Job fair will be on April 1st at the Mellon Arena from 10:30AM to 3:00PM. The job fair is free and open to the general public. No registration is required. Enter at gate 10. We suggest if you drive to park in the east parking lot on the Center Avenue side of the arena (all day parking is just $6.00). With over 35 companies and career training schools in attendance, job seekers will find hundreds of local Pittsburgh job opportunities and information on dozens of career raining opportunities.

It is highly suggested that all job seekers brings a supply of resumes (10 or more) and to remember that how they dress will greatly influence their chances of employment success.

This job fair is the first Diversity Job Fair in Pittsburgh to be held in collaboration with The Urban League of Greater Pittsburgh, AARP Foundation Work Search and the Allegheny county Department of Veteran’s Affairs. Companies attending are letting it be know they are equal opportunity employers looking for the most qualified candidates regardless of race, age or veteran status.

The companies in attendance so far include:

AARP Foundation Work Search
Academy of Court Reporting
Advance Auto Parts
Aldi Foods
Allied Barton Security Services
All-State Career School
Aramark Mellon Arena
Army National Guard
Commute Info
EchoStar / Dish Network
Giant Eagle
Home Depot
Kaplan School
Mainstay Life Services
Market District
New Century Careers
OK Grocery
Parkvale Bank
Pennsylvania State Police
SMG Management
Sunrise Assisted Living
Transitional Services
The Urban League of Greater Pittsburgh
US Postal
Venturi Staffing Services
Verizon Wireless
Allegheny County Dept. of Veterans Affairs
Waddell & Reed Financial Services

Five Star Quality Care (Nursing)
CVS Pharmacy
Everest Institute
Art Institute of Pittsburgh
Novum Pharmaceutical Research
Carniegie Mellon University Facilities Management Department
Enterprise Rent A Car
And More!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Pittsburgh Area Manpower Survey Gives Pittsburgh’s Job Market an “A”

35% of Pittsburgh area employers plan to expand payrolls in the 2nd quarter, according to the Manpower Employment Outlook Survey released today. Only 5% plan to reduce payrolls, according to Manpower spokesperson Kelly Scott.

“Compared with the first quarter of 2008 when 20% of companies interviewed intended to add employees, and 15% planned to reduce staff levels, area hiring levels appear to be stronger,” said Scott. “Employers are more optimistic about hiring activity as compared to one year ago, when 29% of companies surveyed planned to increase staff levels and 9% expected to cut payrolls.”

For the coming quarter, job prospects appear best in Construction, Durable Goods Manufacturing, Finance/Insurance/Real Estate and Services. Employers in Transportation/ Public Utilities and Wholesale/Retail Trade voice mixed hiring intentions. Hiring in Non-Durable Goods Manufacturing, Education and Public Administration is expected to remain unchanged.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Harold Miller of Pittsburgh’s Future Blog Writes an Excellent Article on Why the Pittsburgh Job Market is Still Strong

Harold Miller, President of Future Strategies, LLC, and author of Pittsburgh’s Future wrote an excellent article for the Pittsburgh Post Gazette recently explaining why the Pittsburgh area is still offering good opportunities to job seekers even though the job growth rate is considered anemic.

Mr. Miller writes:

Plenty of Job Opportunities, Despite Slow Growth

Over the past several years, the Pittsburgh Region has had one of the slowest rates of employment growth among major U.S. metro areas. Does that mean young people need to look elsewhere to find a job?

Fortunately, the answer is “no.” You might be surprised by how much hiring goes on in the Pittsburgh region despite the slow growth. In 2006, while total regional employment grew by only 5,000, there were over 624,000 new hires by employers in the region, according to data from the U.S. Census Bureau. (This does not include people promoted to a different job with the same employer, or those returning to work after a temporary layoff or unpaid leave.)

That’s not a mistake – there were over six hundred thousand jobs for which new people were hired. How can that be? Because a similar number of people also left jobs during the course of the year. Some retired. Many were laid off or fired. But most left voluntarily to find better or different employment. Nationally, the majority (58%) of separations are voluntary quits, rather than layoffs, discharges, or retirements.

A regional labor market is like a very large game of musical chairs – at the end of each month or year, the total number of jobs may not have changed very much, but a huge amount of movement has happened in between.

Nationally, employers reported that just over 3% of their jobs were open each month during 2006. That means that in the Pittsburgh Region, with over 1,100,000 total jobs, there will likely be over 33,000 job openings at any point in time.

Many of the job hirings are temporary. People are hired in retail stores during the holiday shopping season, in amusement parks in the summer, on short-term construction projects, etc. But even if you look at what are called “stable jobs” (a job that lasts at least one quarter), there were over 350,000 new hires in the Pittsburgh Region during 2006.

What kinds of jobs are these? About one-third are in retail stores, restaurants, bars, and hotels. Many of those are part-time jobs, and the wages are, on average, very low. But if you exclude those industries, you find that in 2006, nearly 250,000 people got new jobs paying an average of $30,000 per year, in sectors ranging from health care to finance.

And many jobs were filled at much higher wages. For example, there were over 25,000 people hired in corporate headquarters, R&D centers, law firms, and other professional firms in 2006, at an average salary of almost $45,000. (Some people may take multiple part-time jobs or change jobs multiple times during the year, so there is some double-counting in these numbers.)

Even though the total number of manufacturing jobs in the Pittsburgh Region declined slightly in 2006, there were almost 25,000 new hires in manufacturing that year, at an average monthly wage of $3,000 ($36,000 annually). And many of our manufacturers are reporting difficulties filling vacant jobs, so there are probably more job openings than the number of hires would suggest.

Are young people getting any of these jobs? Yes. Thousands of them, in fact. During 2006, nearly 40,000 stable jobs were filled with men and women ages 22-24. For example, 1,800 22-24 year olds were hired in manufacturing, at an average wage of over $25,000, and 2,500 were hired in professional, scientific, and technical services firms, at an average salary of $28,000.

And if you think there are more job opportunities for young people in fast growth regions, think again. For example, although Austin, Texas created over six times as many net new jobs as Pittsburgh in 2006, more 22-24 year olds found jobs in high-paying industries here than in Austin.

Does this mean that slow job growth in Pittsburgh isn’t a problem? Hardly. We can’t increase our population if we don’t increase total jobs, and we can’t support big-city amenities like our arts and cultural organizations, airport, etc. without a growing population base.

But while we’re working to make the region more competitive for business growth, let’s spread the word that there are thousands of good job opportunities here right now.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

February is Over, Is the Sky Falling Yet?

After two weeks of being pounded by economic news in the media declaring recession, high energy costs, a housing market in the tank and consumer confidence at the lowest level since the outbreak of the Black Death we were inclined to just throw our hands up in the air, give up, and head for the hills.

But wait, companies in Pittsburgh are still hiring. Our business has not tanked. What is going on? How can we be at deaths door economically and still see a hiring level as good as a year ago and better than two years ago?

While it is true that around the country our economy is in or near recession it appears many areas around the country are not going to suffer the kinds of job losses that were experienced after 9-11. There are many reasons for this as we have mentioned in prior posts.

While it is true business is cyclical and downturns happen it is also true that the constant media barrage of bad news and the ignoring of good news, by themselves, drive consumer moods downward more than most individual circumstances warrant. This is not to discount the pain being felt by those who are losing a home or a job but by historic standards the economic picture, especially in the Pittsburgh metro, is not that bad and the near term prospects remain very good.

The incessant recession talk by major media continues the attempt to drive readership and (ironically) sell more soap by sensational headlines decrying doom and gloom. We wonder where we, as an economy, would be if the paradigm of major media was the opposite, where headlining strong job growth areas, good economic stories (yes, they still exist) and proposed solutions to current problems was the norm while relegating “bad news” to the back (web) pages.

Friday, February 22, 2008 Goes Video, the 10th ranked job board on the Internet and the number one job board for hourly recruitment, will roll out a site redesign on Saturday, February 23rd, that will feature employer and job clip videos to help highlight to job seekers the benefits of job postings they are reading.

“Video is a great example of how we constantly improve the user’s experience on,” said Jack Webber, regional manager at The Employment Guide. “We debuted the original video center in April 2007 and, in less than a year; we have expanded its accessibility. Job seekers gain valuable information about employers through these videos,” Webber added.

To help clients develop the best videos possible, The Employment Guide has partnered with a production company to offer four competitively-priced video packages. The basic Job Clip package includes a professionally-produced video of up to 30 seconds in length containing industry-related stock footage and/or photos, a company logo and script, and on-screen contact information. The premier video package, Custom Video, includes an on-site production crew to capture unique company footage for a completely tailored product.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Will The Pittsburgh Region’s Median Age Help Mitigate This Years Recession?

With Pittsburgh’s job growth anemic (900 jobs added December ’06 to December ’07) and little evidence the pace will pick up soon, what is keeping Pittsburgh’s job market one of the hotter markets in the country? Our definition of “hotter” is the demand local companies have for new qualified employees (replacement workers as well as newly created jobs) compared to what we are seeing in other markets around the country.

The answer lies in the median age of our population, ranked as number 1 or 2 in the country (Allegheny County median age as of 2000 according to the Census Bureau is 39.6 years compared with a national average of 35.3). We are in a situation, even with residents working longer into retirement years, where enough of our population is leaving the job market that it is creating vacancies, or opportunities, for those entering the job market.

So far in 2008 we are seeing job market demand in the hourly arena as good as it has been in the past 6 years. Coupled with a housing market that never boomed with many other parts of the country and therefore is predicted to continue slow growth (2007 home sales were up 8% in the Pittsburgh region) and a commercial construction industry entering a multi year period of high demand we have an opportunity to whether the latest storm as well as any metro in the country.

This isn’t to say there will be no pain. Our economy and many jobs in it, of course, are dependent on demand from outside our region. However the demographics that currently exist here will help keep demand for replacement workers high and possibly at a higher rate than job losses created by the recession nationally.

This could be a harbinger of what the national job market looks like as well. Baby boomers are just now starting to hit retirement age and as the number of retirees increases the demand for replacement workers will grow with it. According to an article in the February 4th edition of Workforce Magazine by Gina Ruiz “Recruiters See Strong Hiring Ahead Despite Recession Talk”. The article goes on the quote Human Resource Managers as saying the outlook for hiring demand remains strong.

Staffing firms, always the leading indicator of a coming rise in unemployment rates, have remained flat across the country over the past year maintaining strong numbers from 2006. "We’re not getting a sense that there is an impending jolt in staffing employment," says Steve Berchem, vice president of the American Staffing Association in Washington. The telltale signs of an impending recession are not there, he notes. "We’re living in a very different world," says Francis Luisi, principal at Charleston Partners, an HR executive recruiting firm in Rumson, New Jersey. Factors such as employers with global vision and the millions of baby boomers reaching retirement age could make the traditional recession-related hiring slump less severe than in past cycles, he explains. "It is simply too early to speculate on what will happen," Luisi says.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Pittsburgh’s Upcoming Official Diversity Job Fairs Just Got More Diverse

The Employment Guide®, Pittsburgh Edition has added two more partnerships to its 2008 series of job fairs to be held at the Mellon Arena. Along with the Urban League of Greater Pittsburgh, who is entering into the fourth year of a partnership begun in 2005, The Employment Guide will also partner with the AARP Foundation and the Allegheny County Dept. of Veteran’s Affairs.

This will add tremendously to the value of the job fairs to both Pittsburgh area employers and Pittsburgh area job seekers. Area employers will have access to a more diverse group of job seekers encouraged to attend by these respective organizations and job seekers will find area employers who openly value the benefit and organizational strength provided by a more diverse workforce.

The first of these events will be held on Tuesday, April 1st from 10:30 until 3:00PM. We expect 30 to 40 local employers to be on hand. These job fairs are targeted to the hourly, entry level to mid-level skilled positions like Customer Service, Banking/Finance, Retail, Hospitality, Sales, Healthcare and Allied Healthcare, Social Services, the Building Trades and more.

We will update more on these events as we draw closer.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Field of, Ah, Er…?

With the past, current and projected future growth of the Cranberry Township area north of Pittsburgh, Dick’s Sporting Goods, with corporate headquarters only a half-hour drive away and over 250 stores nationwide, has agreed to pay $2.2 million dollars over the next 10 years for the naming rights to a new 150 acre outdoor sports complex located in Cranberry adjacent to the Pennsylvania Turnpike (I-76). The complex will include 3 full size football fields, 5 baseball fields and additional fields for soccer and lacrosse.

Westinghouse announced last year it will build a new corporate headquarters in Cranberry, bringing over 3,000 jobs with it. This is in addition to Cranberry already being one of the fastest growing areas in the state of Pennsylvania due to it’s location at the intersection of I-76, I-79, state Routes 19 and 228 and 20 minute access to downtown Pittsburgh.

If a multi-million dollar traffic improvement program can be approved in the next year or two, Simon Properties, owner of three major malls in the Pittsburgh area, is planning an additional 900,000 square foot retail and office complex almost directly across the road from Westinghouse, bringing a projected 1,000 to 1,500 additional jobs to the area.

As reported in the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: Dick's Sporting Goods Inc., based in Findlay, reached an agreement with Cranberry officials to pay $2.2 million over the next 10 years for the naming rights to the proposed Graham Park along Rochester Road, Cranberry supervisor John Skorupan said Tuesday. "It's a great initiative," Skorupan said, adding that the township is growing so fast that it needs the new park. The township hopes to begin building the park this spring and have the three football fields ready for the fall season, with baseball and soccer fields available in the spring of 2009. The Cranberry board of supervisors has scheduled a special meeting Thursday to approve the agreement, Skorupan said.

Now the difficult part is deciding on the name…Field of Ah, Er…

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Monster Employment Index Names Pittsburgh One of Top Four Local Markets for Online Job Growth in 2007

Pittsburgh, along with Seattle, St. Louis and Houston were the Monster Local Job Index’s highest growth markets for 2007 in online job postings. Although down from the hot November level, December’s reading was still up 25 points from December of 2006.

"Approximately half of the Index’s decline in December 2007 from November can be attributed to seasonality as employers naturally scale back their hiring activities during the final month of the year,” said Steve Pogorzelski, Executive Vice President, Global Sales and Customer Development at Monster Worldwide. “The Index has consistently shown a seasonal slowdown every December since its inception, which is usually followed by a sizable rebound in the months that immediately follow.

For a complete industry by industry run down for Pittsburgh,
click here.

Click on the chart to enlarge.

Friday, January 11, 2008

After a Decade of Bad News Regarding Pittsburgh Area Manufacturing Jobs, Medrad, Inc. Offers Up 500 New Jobs over the Next Five Years

At the ribbon cutting ceremony for Medrad’s new manufacturing facility located on the former site of a U.S. Steel sintering plant in Victory Road Business Park, a state Keystone Opportunity Zone, which grants job-creating companies lower business taxes, located in Clinton Township, Butler County, Pennsylvania, Governor Ed Rendell Said “Medrad will create at least 500 jobs at its new $44.7 million, 120,000-square-foot plant, The plant's 20-acre site is in the Victory Road Business Park which will produce disposable syringes and specialty tubing used in medical imaging procedures. This is an exciting day and an important win for the commonwealth. The company conducted a worldwide search for a location for this plant and the 500 skilled manufacturing jobs it will generate. By choosing Pennsylvania, MEDRAD is sending an important message about the strength of our economy and the quality of our workforce”.

In June 2006, Governor Rendell announced a $4.4 million state investment package to help MEDRAD build its new disposables plant on the former 20-acre U.S. Steel site in the Victory Road Business Park in Clinton Township.

Medrad President and CEO John Friel said “The Saxonburg facility went from groundbreaking to start-up in just 10 months and is critical to meeting the demand for imaging procedures that enable earlier, more accurate, diagnosis and improved treatment. It provides us with needed additional plant capacity in the short term and its phased growth design gives us the capacity to add production lines in the future".

Victory Road Business Park is also home to an Aldi Foods distribution center, R.A.M. Transit Lines, an over the road trucking firm and Castcon Stone, a wholly woman owned precast concrete manufacturer.

MEDRAD is an affiliate of
Bayer AG.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Pittsburgh’s November Jobless Rate Down to 4.2%

According to the Pennsylvania State Department of Labor and Industry the 7 county Pittsburgh Metro Area created a seasonally adjusted 1,100 new jobs in November. However, over 5,000 fewer people were looking for them, as the unemployment rate dropped from 4.6% to 4.2% which was down from 4.7% one year ago. Over the past year the Pittsburgh Metro job count has increased by 3,000 which translates into a .25% (that’s a ¼ of a point) increase year over year.

Strength in the Pittsburgh area came from the service sector including retail, education and health services, although hospitality saw another overall decrease. The drop in the number of people looking for employment was unexplained in the latest report. Historically it has meant fewer people thought a job search would pay off and partially due to a continued outflow of people living in the metro.

Out of the seven counties included in these figures, Allegheny and Butler counties each came in with the best individual rates seasonally adjusted at 3.9% for Butler and 4.0% for Allegheny. Other individual rates include Fayette County at 5.4% (down a full 1.1% from a year ago), Armstrong County at 4.4% (down from 5.4% 1 year ago), Beaver County at 4.4% with Washington and Westmorland Counties both coming in at 4.3%.

With housing prices remaining relatively stable in our area along with billions of dollars in new construction projects slated for 2008 and beyond, this upcoming year should still be one of continued overall job growth although it remains to be seen whether the pace of growth can pick up from an anemic ¼% over this past year.

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