Pittsburgh possesses beauty, brains and a new economy

City of Pittsburgh from North ShoreSources: Pittsburgh Business Times, Chicago Tribune, Huffington Post, Pittsburgh Post Gazette

Chicago Tribune travel writer Josh Noel described Pittsburgh as “one of our nation’s most underrated cities, with a beauty as breathtaking as it is obvious” in his January 4th article titled “New meets old in Pittsburgh.” While this is true to anyone who has seen the city skyline, Pittsburgh has much more to offer than just beauty.

With the steel-city persona and days of heavy industry over, the city experiences a “new Pittsburgh economy” more focused on growth rather than manufacturing.  In 2012, the Pittsburgh metropolitan market recorded 2.91 knowledge jobs per manufacturing job, compared with a 2.38 ratio for the country overall. Perhaps this transition is due to the growth of area universities, including Carnegie Mellon University who is ranked 23rd in the U.S. News and World Report’s most recent ranking of national universities.  In fact, Movoto deemed Pittsburgh “America’s Smartest City” in their 2013 ranking of the 100 most populous U.S. cities.

Between 2007 and 2012, the gross domestic product for the Pittsburgh area increased 4.6 percent, and in 2012, average employment was above 750,000. Not only are these individuals employed, they are happy in their workplace. In January 2013, the site Career Bliss ranked Pittsburgh in the top five cities with the happiest workers, based on more than 36,000 reviews.

Along with an increase in knowledge-based jobs and GDP, Pittsburgh has also seen significant gains in per capita personal income. Out of 36 major metropolitan areas, Pittsburgh’s ranking jumped from 29th in 2005 to 14th in 2012.  Although the median household income is still below the national average, so is the cost of living and housing. According to Chicago-based Interest.com, Pittsburgh is the fifth most affordable U.S. metro area for housing.

Tim Grant wrote in the Post-Gazette, “The reason Pittsburgh fares so well, said Interest.com managing editor Mike Sante, is that while the region’s median household income of $50,489 is only slightly below the national median income of $51,371, the median home price of $137,000 is significantly lower than the national median of $203,500.”

It is important that this positive change in the Pittsburgh region’s economic situation and outlook sustains forward momentum. Norman Robertson, an economic advisor for Smithfield Trust Co., told the Pittsburgh Business Times, “The region can help itself by developing and implementing pro-growth strategies and programs that will attract new businesses to the area and retain those that are already here.”

Posted on January 9, 2014, in Economy and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Comments Off on Pittsburgh possesses beauty, brains and a new economy.

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