According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, employers in the statistical metropolitan area of Pittsburgh, comprising seven counties, created 11,900 jobs between September and October.
While earnings are encouraging, it remains a bloody year in terms of local payrolls. The Pittsburgh area lost around 86,000 jobs between October 2019 and October 2020 – a decrease of 7.1 percent over the course of the year.
“We still have a long way to go to get back to where we were before COVID,” said Chris Briem, regional economist at the University of Pittsburgh’s Center for Social and Urban Research.
All employment sectors in the Pittsburgh area economy have lost jobs year over year, with the exception of the financial activities sector, which saw jobs increase 0.7 percent.
The sector hardest hit is still leisure and hospitality, which includes hotels and restaurants. Employers created 800 jobs in the last month, but 30 percent of jobs in the sector have disappeared a year ago.
More than half of the jobs added last month were in education and healthcare, which created 6,300 jobs from September to October 2020.
“The employment growth we saw last month is the result of jobs returning when schools reopen,” said Briem. “Without that, there isn’t much job growth here in the past month. Nothing that’s happening now suggests an expected increase in employment growth. Given that there aren’t many sources of job growth here other than Eds and Meds, which are typical of the fall, it will be pretty flat. “