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Old 12-09-2011, 09:55 AM
 
20,273 posts, read 29,864,363 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by h_curtis View Post
I don't think you would win your argument Brian.
Let's go to the numbers:

Bureau of Labor Statistics Data

In this survey, employment in October 2011 was equal to 1153134, and unemployment was 78905. Labor force was equal to 1232039 (note these numbers necessarily add up). That gives you an unemployment rate of 6.4%.

The national recession started at the end of 2007. So let's look back to October 2007. Employment was 1160832, unemployment was 47322, labor force was 1208154, and the unemployment rate was 3.9%.

Now, note the huge increase in the labor force from October 2007 to October 2011--about 24,000 people. If anything labor force participation is likely down, so this implies a large number of new job-seekers have shown up in the Pittsburgh Metro since the national recession started.

So hypothetically, lets assume the same amount of employment in October 2011, but keep the labor force the same size as October 2007. You then get a hypothetical unemployment of 55020, and a hypothetical unemployment rate of 4.6%.

I don't know if that counts as a "win", but that is what I was talking about previously when I said, "And it would be even lower if job-seekers weren't moving here."
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Old 12-09-2011, 11:16 AM
 
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Incidentally, these maps are really interesting and relevant to the mini-discussion above:



Something big happened in between 2005 and 2010 (no prizes for correct answers).
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Old 12-09-2011, 11:19 AM
 
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Cleveland at 10? I'm not sure about that.
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Old 12-09-2011, 11:22 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sugar13 View Post
Cleveland at 10? I'm not sure about that.
Why not? Cleveland wasn't much of a housing bubble city. It got caught in the wake of the auto industry collapse, but that recovery has been doing a bit better than the housing bust recovery.
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Old 12-09-2011, 11:29 AM
 
Location: Charlotte
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Cities that were boomtowns in recent years are those suffering the most today especially in the Sunbelt. Charlotte is not doing too well right now. We had people moving here in droves, but now we just have a lot of unemployed construction workers among others.
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Old 12-09-2011, 12:45 PM
 
7,112 posts, read 8,739,004 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BrianTH View Post
Let's go to the numbers:

Bureau of Labor Statistics Data

In this survey, employment in October 2011 was equal to 1153134, and unemployment was 78905. Labor force was equal to 1232039 (note these numbers necessarily add up). That gives you an unemployment rate of 6.4%.

The national recession started at the end of 2007. So let's look back to October 2007. Employment was 1160832, unemployment was 47322, labor force was 1208154, and the unemployment rate was 3.9%.

Now, note the huge increase in the labor force from October 2007 to October 2011--about 24,000 people. If anything labor force participation is likely down, so this implies a large number of new job-seekers have shown up in the Pittsburgh Metro since the national recession started.

So hypothetically, lets assume the same amount of employment in October 2011, but keep the labor force the same size as October 2007. You then get a hypothetical unemployment of 55020, and a hypothetical unemployment rate of 4.6%.

I don't know if that counts as a "win", but that is what I was talking about previously when I said, "And it would be even lower if job-seekers weren't moving here."
But it could also be partly explained as older workers seeing their 401k and other investments drop and having to stay in the workforce longer and wait for better times to retire. Plus younger local workers are entering the job market with worse prospects and migration is no longer a clear alternative.
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Old 12-09-2011, 12:51 PM
gg
 
Location: Pittsburgh
21,136 posts, read 20,202,008 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MathmanMathman View Post
But it could also be partly explained as older workers seeing their 401k and other investments drop and having to stay in the workforce longer and wait for better times to retire. Plus younger local workers are entering the job market with worse prospects and migration is no longer a clear alternative.
Yeah for this to be some rust belt victory all around with Pittsburgh, Cleveland AND even Buffalo ranking so high, the fix is on. This type of study wouldn't be credible as far as the big picture goes. All it tells me is the rust belt is bouncing off the bottom enough to show a good result if you take a very selected piece of the puzzle to make it appear we are top dogs in the US. It is flattering and makes us all puff our chests out, but meant very little in the big scheme of things. Buffalo? Come on!
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Old 12-09-2011, 01:02 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MathmanMathman View Post
But it could also be partly explained as older workers seeing their 401k and other investments drop and having to stay in the workforce longer and wait for better times to retire.
That would be a kind of increased labor force participation. There is no good way to know for sure what labor force participation looks like in the Pittsburgh Metro, but we know what it looks like nationally--the labor force participation rate has been heading down. That is a predictable outcome of extended elevated unemployment: unemployed people get discouraged and drop out of the labor force.

Of course Pittsburgh hasn't had the same level of unemployment problems as the national average, but it has been high enough such that you would expect that, if anything, the labor force participation rate would have gone down. In fact, you can see evidence of that in the data I linked. The labor force spiked after the recession began nationally but before it began locally (2008ish), then started declining as the recession took hold here, but now is increasing again as unemployment is decreasing:

http://data.bls.gov/generated_files/graphics/LAUMT42383006_40017_1323456853574.gif (broken link)

That's consistent with an overall effect of job-seekers coming here because of better employment conditions than other places, while at the same time the labor force participation rate going down temporarily as a result of the (milder, but still significant) recession here. Interestingly, that implies there may still be even MORE of a bump in the labor force still to show up in the data, namely the people who have been discouraged but will re-enter the labor force as the local unemployment situation continues to improve (assuming that is what happens).

All that said, what you suggested is in fact happening nationally--labor force participation is up among the oldest cohorts. But the reason it is down overall is that when it comes to the overall size of the labor force, the younger-to-middle cohorts dominate. Here is a graph from Calculated Risk:



The red bar is higher than the yellow bar starting at 55 and up, which supports your hypothesis. But it is lower below 55, and that ends up dominating the recent trend.

So overall, it is highly unlikely that the increase in the local labor force size is attributable to increased labor force participation. In fact, if anything the increase in the size of the local labor force is likely understating the number of new job-seekers.

Quote:
Plus younger local workers are entering the job market with worse prospects and migration is no longer a clear alternative.
That's true, and in general it is important to keep in mind that we're always talking about net migration, and underlying that is actually many more people both leaving and coming.

Still, that wouldn't really explain why the Pittsburgh labor force was actually growing so quickly. In fact because of the steel bust, we actually have an unusually small number of young people maturing into adults right about now. So even assuming, as is likely the case, that outmigration among our younger people has slowed, that doesn't explain where the additional 24,000 people or so in the labor force have come from. For that you need some sort of actual growth factor, and the only plausible one is job-seeking migrants.
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Old 12-09-2011, 01:03 PM
 
7,112 posts, read 8,739,004 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gnutella View Post
I remember that guy. I never took him too seriously. The worst of them all was VoodooLounger. What an ******* that guy was. Even in the rare instances that I agreed with him, I felt dirty because I didn't want him speaking on my behalf.
Voodoo however cared; he just disagreed as what to do. For him the problem was spendthrift Tom Murphy with the concomitant mass corruption and high taxes in the city. He saw Murphy as a dino and wanted "true" Democrats in power. Nevermind that the area has been a Democrat stronghold for quite some time.

Vegas said he was acting as Pittsburgh's "coach". He was on his "high horse" preaching that the "Las Vegas way" was the best way and Pittsburgh should heed the lessons of its leadership. In an ironic way, I guess he was right.
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Old 12-09-2011, 01:15 PM
 
20,273 posts, read 29,864,363 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by h_curtis View Post
Yeah for this to be some rust belt victory all around with Pittsburgh, Cleveland AND even Buffalo ranking so high, the fix is on.
It really isn't some big mystery--these are places where the housing bubble never really happened.

There are lots of maps of the housing bubble. Here is one of my favorite illustrations:





What you are looking at is the massive change in the relationship between mortgages and incomes in many parts of the country between 2000 and 2007. The housing bust then clobbered many of those areas, and they are still stagnating in the recovery because so many households have underwater mortgages.

But as the maps illustrate, that pretty much didn't happen in our area (a little more around Cleveland than here, but not too much more). So it is no particular surprise that some of the places with lower unemployment rates are in this region.

Edit: Incidentally, you can line up those maps with the maps in my post #12:



It isn't the whole story, but pretty clearly a good chunk of the new migration into Pittsburgh is coming from the housing bubble places, which is exactly what you would expect.
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