Skip to:
  1. Main navigation
  2. Main content
  3. Footer
Press Release

Pittsburgh’s recent employment growth stalls, say Cleveland Fed researchers

After nine months of the first meaningful employment gains in five years, employment growth in the Pittsburgh metro area fell to almost zero in the final months of 2017, according to Mekael Teshome, senior regional officer of the Pittsburgh Branch of the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, and Sarah Mattson, a research analyst at the branch. “Preliminary estimates from the Current Employment Statistics suggest employment growth in the first half of 2018 was likely weak,” say the researchers, who also note that CES data is often subject to significant revisions.

During 2017, employment in several sectors—construction, leisure and hospitality, education and health services, financial activities, information, and natural resources and mining—grew faster in the Pittsburgh metro area than statewide or nationally. “This is a positive development,” say Teshome and Mattson, “because from 2012 to 2016, most sectors grew more slowly in the metro area than nationally.”

While the unemployment rate for the Pittsburgh area fell to a post-Great Recession low in the first half of 2018, Teshome and Mattson say the decline in the jobless rate—to 4.1 percent—was driven by a sharp drop in the labor force rather than by an increase in employment.

Examining the housing market in the Pittsburgh metro area, the researchers say that home price appreciation has been accelerating since the second half of 2017, driven by a substantial increase in prices for the least-expensive one-third of homes in the metro area. “In June 2018, prices for these homes rose nearly 20 percent on a year-over-year basis, from an average of around $54,000 in June 2017 to an average of around $64,000,” say Teshome and Mattson.

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

And in case you missed it, see our report released last week: A Long Ride to Work: Job Access and the Potential Impact of Ride-Hailing in the Pittsburgh Area.

Also, 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,, 513.455.4479