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Issue #26 | June 25, 2019

Recently, from the Cleveland Fed

  • What’s blooming in the Pittsburgh area? Jobs and GDP, for starters

    What’s blooming in the Pittsburgh area? Jobs and GDP, for starters

    With its unemployment rate near record-low levels since the spring of 2018 and its labor force growing, the Pittsburgh metro area is shaking off the stagnant employment levels dogging it between 2012 and 2016. The area recently added jobs in education and health services, financial activities, and construction. GDP per capita is also up. Dive into these and other economic insights in the latest Pittsburgh Metro Mix.

  • Speaking of Pittsburgh, nurses and truck drivers are the area’s top opportunity occupations

    Speaking of Pittsburgh, nurses and truck drivers are the area’s top opportunity occupations

    Opportunity occupations are jobs that offer wages above the national median and don’t require a bachelor’s degree. Recently, researchers at the Cleveland, Philadelphia, and Atlanta Feds created fact sheets for the nation’s 121 largest metro areas, showing the share of opportunity occupations available in each. Browse Pittsburgh's top 10 and those of other metros in the Cleveland Fed's region.

  • “Softness” and “strength”: Lexington’s economy showing mixed signals

    “Softness” and “strength”: Lexington’s economy showing mixed signals

    Several factors point to the Lexington metro area’s mixed economic state: a historically low 3.2 percent unemployment rate, though total employment in the area has been declining, and strong growth in home values in recent months, but falling income per capita. How do the Lexington metro area’s current conditions stack up against Kentucky’s and the nation’s? Read our latest Lexington Metro Mix to learn more.

  • What opportunity occupations are the most prevalent in Lexington?

    What opportunity occupations are the most prevalent in Lexington?

    In terms of opportunity occupations—jobs that do not require a bachelor’s degree and that offer a family-sustaining wage—available in Lexington, Kentucky, assemblers and fabricators offer the highest share of opportunity employment by far: those occupations employed more than 14,000 in 2017—that’s more than double the next-highest opportunity occupation, registered nurses, at 5,600. See Lexington’s top 10 opportunity occupations (and those of other metros in the Cleveland Fed's region).

  • Looking for your own metro—or one across the country?

    Looking for opportunity occupations in your own metro—or one across the country?

    From Akron, OH, to York, PA, we've got fact sheets for 121 metro areas. What are the top 10 opportunity occupations in yours? Find out here.

Ask the Expert


What is the Cleveland Fed doing to teach young people about careers and why?


We have found that exposing students to a variety of career options outside of what they’ve seen in their neighborhoods, in their families, and on TV allows them to see other perspectives, giving them the opportunity to think beyond familiar career tracks. Most students aren’t introduced to possible career paths until late in their educational journeys. Therefore, our team conducts career days, both at school and off site at a place of business, to allow students to break from their usual daily instruction, giving them exposure to a variety of professionals from whom they can gain information and guidance that may influence their career decisionmaking in the future. This April, the Cleveland Fed hosted its first career day, introducing students from low- and moderate-income backgrounds to Fed careers including those in information technology, law enforcement, and cash.

As economic education coordinators for the Cleveland Fed’s Learning Center and Money Museum, we continually do outreach throughout the Fourth District (Ohio, western Pennsylvania, the northern panhandle of West Virginia, and eastern Kentucky) and provide regular programming through our Money Museum and other departments at this Federal Reserve Bank. We are also invited to visit schools to deliver career content to students of all ages. Our presentations are designed to introduce students to the Fed, some of the career options available, and the role the Fed plays in America’s economy. Our target audience is students who come from lower- and moderate-income backgrounds, as typically they are less often exposed to career paths relating to the financial sector. Providing materials such as our Great Minds Think workbook gives these students foundational knowledge about savings, budgeting, and other topics with the hope of influencing them to make conscious financial decisions.

With our Fed Scholars program, we partner with community organizations, providing summer internship employment to local high school students. Through this paid, seven-week experience, students meet employees around the Bank, learn about career paths, gain work and life skills, help out in the Learning Center and Money Museum, and complete a group capstone project.

Following all of our outreach programming, we gather feedback through follow-up questionnaires sent to participants and those we’ve partnered with to gauge the impact our programming has had and what we can do to improve our efforts. We’ve learned this much: Both career days and external presentations are a great way for organizations to reach an audience with the hope of influencing and inspiring students to make positive career choices.

Khaz Finley

Khaz Finley

is an economic education and museum outreach coordinator for the Cleveland Fed’s Learning Center and Money Museum. He does outreach in the Cleveland and Akron areas and assists in writing economic education curricula for elementary and middle school educators. He also manages the Money Museum’s operations and programming.

By the Numbers

On the Calendar

  • Can’t make it to the Money Museum during our regular hours? That’s OK!

    The Cleveland Fed’s Learning Center and Money Museum (Cleveland, OH) will have two days of extended hours this summer. On Monday, July 8, the museum will remain open until 4 pm, and on Saturday, July 27, the museum will be open noon to 3 pm, coinciding with the Cleveland Public Library’s 150th anniversary street festival. Admission to the museum is always FREE!

From around the Federal Reserve System

Are US households able to manage planned and unexpected expenses?

Seventeen percent of adults are not able to pay all of their current month’s bills in full, and another 12 percent would be unable to pay their current month’s bills if they had an unexpected $400 expense. So found the Federal Reserve Board’s Survey of Household Economics and Decisionmaking, which focuses on US households’ income, employment, housing, and retirement with the goal of sharing the financial challenges and opportunities individuals and households have.

Are US households able to manage planned and unexpected expenses?

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