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Old 11-05-2011, 07:37 PM
 
Location: Due North of Potemkin City Limits
1,237 posts, read 856,100 times
Reputation: 1096

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For an area that's economy is often stereotyped as being perpetually bad, I have to say that southwestern PA's is one of the better ones in the nation. At least now. My work has taken me to the deep south in years past, and now to the west coast. While it isn't as bad here (Cali) as it is in most sunbelt cities on the east coast, times are still tight here. Here, you can visibly see the impact of the depression (I refuse to call this a recession) with you own eyes. The south is worse though.

Back in Pittsburgh, things seem to be chugging along at a pretty even pace, spare for a few exceptions. One that comes to mind are the dozens of Maronda and Maronda-type tract plans where work has halted and streets lead to nowhere. Some of the younger homeowners who bought right before the bubble burst really got the shaft, but that's everywhere.

But can anyone offer some insight on why Pittsburgh is weathering the storm so well? Do you think it can continue to do so?
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Old 11-05-2011, 08:02 PM
gg
 
Location: Pittsburgh
11,530 posts, read 7,770,118 times
Reputation: 3982
Better than most places. Obama has been good to us in this area. No question about that.
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Old 11-05-2011, 08:33 PM
 
Location: Pittsburgh PA
1,128 posts, read 1,015,280 times
Reputation: 542
We are lightyears ahead of Detroit and New Detroit oh I mean Las Vegas (a place where it was nearly impossible to get employed when the economy was booming.) I am predicting a lot of business shifting back to the Northeast and Great Lakes due to the existing infrastructure's ability to handle quite a bit as it did fifty years ago, as opposed to the South where everything is sprawled out like crazy and many major cities (i.e., Vegas, Phoenix, Atlanta) are in serious droughts where it gets to the point where they seriously ration the amount of water one is allowed to use (in many parts of Vegas I remember hearing that it is illegal to has a lawn)
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Old 11-05-2011, 11:01 PM
 
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
3,908 posts, read 3,495,586 times
Reputation: 1865
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sealtite View Post
For an area that's economy is often stereotyped as being perpetually bad, I have to say that southwestern PA's is one of the better ones in the nation. At least now. My work has taken me to the deep south in years past, and now to the west coast. While it isn't as bad here (Cali) as it is in most sunbelt cities on the east coast, times are still tight here. Here, you can visibly see the impact of the depression (I refuse to call this a recession) with you own eyes. The south is worse though.

Back in Pittsburgh, things seem to be chugging along at a pretty even pace, spare for a few exceptions. One that comes to mind are the dozens of Maronda and Maronda-type tract plans where work has halted and streets lead to nowhere. Some of the younger homeowners who bought right before the bubble burst really got the shaft, but that's everywhere.

But can anyone offer some insight on why Pittsburgh is weathering the storm so well? Do you think it can continue to do so?
I haven't heard that happening in this area. Where are these unfinished developments?
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Old 11-06-2011, 12:32 AM
 
Location: Due North of Potemkin City Limits
1,237 posts, read 856,100 times
Reputation: 1096
Quote:
Originally Posted by bradjl2009 View Post
I haven't heard that happening in this area. Where are these unfinished developments?
Many of the Maronda home plans remain unfinished. I don't think they'll stay that way though, but for now it looks like they're having a hell of a time getting the lots sold.
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Old 11-06-2011, 05:50 AM
 
20,274 posts, read 18,607,012 times
Reputation: 2827
Positive factors explaining our current above-average economic performance:

(1) We dodged the housing bubble and burst;

(2) Some of our focus industries (energy, higher ed, medicine) are doing relatively well;

(3) Generally, we now have a well-diversified economy which is well-positioned for future growth.

The biggest negative in terms of current outcomes--and of course this isn't unique to this region, but we do a bit worse than expected anyway--is that we are not doing a great job providing opportunities to the people in our most economically distressed communities, which shows up in various poverty statistics, educational outcome statistics, and so on. A lot of that has to do with education policy, but also transportation policy, health policy, and so on.

Which leads me to my biggest structural concern--our local political system is absurdly balkanized which leads to a lot of infighting, and meanwhile we currently have adverse political dynamics at the state and federal levels that are making it hard to adopt policies that will build on our strengths and address our weak areas. I'm somewhat hopeful things will eventually get better, but it could take a while.
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Old 11-06-2011, 07:47 AM
 
Location: Leesburg
799 posts, read 695,708 times
Reputation: 232
Pittsburgh has amassed a highly educated workforce without the benefit of substantial inmigration and immigration. In some ways, it doesn't matter how a region dramatically improves its educational attainment rate. Talent will attract talent. Prosperity follows the migration of the college educated. If you think things look good in Pittsburgh now, just wait until the national economy (i.e. hiring) gets going.
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Old 11-07-2011, 03:15 PM
 
Location: Pittsburgh area
9,886 posts, read 9,906,600 times
Reputation: 4672
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sealtite View Post
Many of the Maronda home plans remain unfinished. I don't think they'll stay that way though, but for now it looks like they're having a hell of a time getting the lots sold.
I suspect the pause/slowdown is/was mainly due to their Ch 11. There is still work proceeding in at least some Maronda plans.
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Old 11-07-2011, 03:46 PM
 
Location: Wilkinsburg
1,661 posts, read 1,300,758 times
Reputation: 962
Quote:
Originally Posted by BrianTH View Post
(2) Some of our focus industries (energy, higher ed, medicine) are doing relatively well
I'd like to add that some of the major industries that support the local economy, particularly energy, education, and healthcare, are more recession resistant than, say, financial services and manufacturing. Then again, at one point a lot of people had a similar opinion of housing.
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Old 11-07-2011, 03:49 PM
 
20,274 posts, read 18,607,012 times
Reputation: 2827
Yeah, historically residential construction helped lead the way in recoveries from recessions (not so much this time).
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