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Press Release

Employment gains in the Pittsburgh metro area “elusive,” says Guhan Venkatu, head of the Pittsburgh Branch of the Cleveland Fed

Employment in the Pittsburgh metro area has remained relatively flat since 2012, according to Guhan Venkatu, a vice president and senior regional officer at the Pittsburgh Branch of the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland. Writing in the Bank’s Metro Mix, Venkatu notes that the area’s unemployment rate rose over the course of 2016, though it improved in January, falling to 5.3 percent.

Examining the housing market, Venkatu says that, while the number of residential building permits issued in the Pittsburgh area remains relatively low, home prices have continued to see fairly strong gains.

Venkatu also notes that per capita consumer debt levels—though they remain low—have risen more sharply in the Pittsburgh metro area than in the state of Pennsylvania or the United States as a whole during the two-year period that ended in the fourth quarter of 2016.

For more of Venkatu’s insights on economic conditions in the Pittsburgh area, see our latest Pittsburgh Metro Mix.

In case you missed them, check out these other articles focused on the region served by the Cleveland Fed: Ohio, eastern Kentucky, western Pennsylvania, and the northern panhandle of West Virginia.

Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland

The Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland is one of 12 regional Reserve Banks that along with the Board of Governors in Washington DC comprise the Federal Reserve System. Part of the US central bank, the Cleveland Fed participates in the formulation of our nation’s monetary policy, supervises banking organizations, provides payment and other services to financial institutions and to the US Treasury, and performs many activities that support Federal Reserve operations System-wide. In addition, the Bank supports the well-being of communities across the Fourth Federal Reserve District through a wide array of research, outreach, and educational activities.

The Cleveland Fed, with branches in Cincinnati and Pittsburgh, serves an area that comprises Ohio, western Pennsylvania, eastern Kentucky, and the northern panhandle of West Virginia.

Media contact

Doug Campbell,, 513.218.1892