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Press Release

Pittsburgh’s employment continues to trend sideways, says Guhan Venkatu, group vice president and economist at the Cleveland Fed

Employment has remained relatively flat in the Pittsburgh metro area throughout the five–year period from 2012 through 2016, according to Guhan Venkatu, group vice president and economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland. Writing in the Bank’s Pittsburgh Metro Mix, Venkatu notes that, in 2016, the area’s employment fell slightly, with every major industry category experiencing less employment growth in Pittsburgh than nationally for the corresponding industry category.

“And while the metro area’s unemployment rate declined during the first half of 2017 (from 5.6 percent to 5.1 percent), as of June it remained 0.7 percentage points higher than the national average,” says Venkatu.

Examining the housing market in the Pittsburgh metro area, Venkatu says home prices rose a robust 5.0 percent in June on a year–over–year basis. He notes that, during the eight–year period from the end of the Great Recession in June 2009 through June 2017, home prices in the Pittsburgh metro area grew at an annual rate of 3.2 percent, considerably stronger than the gains seen in the state (0.6 percent) and stronger than the gains experienced in the nation (1.9 percent). He also notes that the number of residential building permits issued throughout the Pittsburgh metro area remains low.

Regarding consumer finances, Venkatu says per capita consumer debt levels have increased steadily in the Pittsburgh metro area, growing almost 5 percent from mid–2014 through the first quarter of 2017. “Nevertheless,” says Venkatu, “the metro area’s per capita consumer debt levels—and its credit card delinquency rates—remain below those for the state and the nation.”

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

And browse through our Region, for data, maps, research, and other information related to the diverse economies and communities in 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