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Old 12-09-2011, 01:21 PM
gg
 
Location: Pittsburgh
21,271 posts, read 20,293,181 times
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No question the housing bubble situation helps our ranking in such a thing. We never had any great economy in the past several decades and since we were in the toilet already and bounced off the bottom, we rank great. These kind of studies only look at a tiny piece of the pie. The giant picture isn't as flattering if you look at the massive exit from this region over the past 15 or so years. Is it shifting in our favor? Goodness, I certainly hope so. How low can we actually go? It is just a bounce off the bottom if you look at the big timeline. People can make studies show about anything. It does sound nice though and we are in great company, with Buffalo and Cleveland.
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Old 12-09-2011, 01:33 PM
 
Location: Leesburg
799 posts, read 1,174,144 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by h_curtis View Post
No question the housing bubble situation helps our ranking in such a thing. We never had any great economy in the past several decades and since we were in the toilet already and bounced off the bottom, we rank great. These kind of studies only look at a tiny piece of the pie. The giant picture isn't as flattering if you look at the massive exit from this region over the past 15 or so years. Is it shifting in our favor? Goodness, I certainly hope so. How low can we actually go? It is just a bounce off the bottom if you look at the big timeline. People can make studies show about anything. It does sound nice though and we are in great company, with Buffalo and Cleveland.
The big picture is much more flattering for Pittsburgh. Let's add per capita income and educational attainment to the discussion. How about commercial and residential real estate? Migration and population are the two stats that have consistently dogged the Pittsburgh region and overshadowed the other indicators of strong economic development.

The bounce off the bottom happened 25-years ago.
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Old 12-09-2011, 01:34 PM
 
20,273 posts, read 29,898,247 times
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There is absolutely no doubt there has been a massive shift in migration trends over the last few years. Every single source of data confirms it.

I would agree, though, that it is far too early to say what this means for the next couple decades. Sooner or later, there will likely be a convergence between the U.S. and local labor market situations. But it could matter a lot whether it is sooner or later, and it is anyone's guess what will happen then.

But again, there is really no doubt that at least for now, things are very different from where they were 4 or more years ago.
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Old 12-09-2011, 01:36 PM
 
20,273 posts, read 29,898,247 times
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Originally Posted by globalburgh View Post
The big picture is much more flattering for Pittsburgh. Let's add per capita income and educational attainment to the discussion.
Of course one could ask whether those long-term income and education dynamics are going to survive the change in migration dynamics intact.
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Old 12-09-2011, 01:36 PM
 
7,112 posts, read 8,750,098 times
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Originally Posted by h_curtis View Post
A quick look will show, while this is good news, it is mostly to do with mass population losses. Hopefully the rust belt will be making the turn and maybe we have seen the bottom. You think Pittsburgh population leaving in droves was bad, have a look at Cleveland.

2010 census population numbers show Cleveland below 400,000; Northeast Ohio down 2.2 percent | cleveland.com
Wow, the city of Cleveland was hit as bad as Pittsburgh.

Year Pop Rank
1900 381,768 7
1910 560,663 6
1920 796,841 5
1930 900,429 6
1940 878,336 6
1950 914,808 7
1960 876,050 8
1970 750,903 10
1980 573,822 18
1990 505,615 23
2000 477,472 33
2010 396,815 NA

They peaked (as did Pittsburgh) in 1950 with 914,808 and plummeted this past decade 81,588 people, or 17.1 percent to 396,815. Almost a 57% total drop. Pittsburgh went from a 1950 676,806 to 305,704 in 2010 (2000 was 334,563) a total drop of about 55%. Although Cleveland's loss this past decade was much larger percentagewise compared to Pittsburgh's 8.6% loss.
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Old 12-09-2011, 01:44 PM
 
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Just an aside, but keep in mind that central city population counts are subject to the arbitrary nature of central city boundaries. In general, we are using metropolitan area employment figures, so we should be using metropolitan area population figures for comparison.
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Old 12-09-2011, 01:45 PM
 
Location: Leesburg
799 posts, read 1,174,144 times
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Originally Posted by BrianTH View Post
Of course one could ask whether those long-term income and education dynamics are going to survive the change in migration dynamics intact.
Great question. I'm confident they will survive a la Boston. The educational attainment rate already in the demographic pipeline will keep the Pittsburgh workforce looking like it is rapidly getting smarter.

Digging down into the migration data, Pittsburgh is a net exporter of people with a high school education or less. Pittsburgh is a net importer of people with a college degree.

All of the above goes out the window when the Hispanic surge hits SW PA (it has already started).
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Old 12-09-2011, 01:58 PM
 
20,273 posts, read 29,898,247 times
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Originally Posted by globalburgh View Post
Great question. I'm confident they will survive a la Boston.
That's what I at least hope. The crazy improvement period may end, but hopefully we can stabilize with a dynamic like Boston, SF, or so on.

Quote:
The educational attainment rate already in the demographic pipeline will keep the Pittsburgh workforce looking like it is rapidly getting smarter.
It is hard for me to see it not at least remaining a positive trend for the next couple decades, but those younger cohorts may get their educational attainment rates changed a bit by the new in-migrants, which could significantly slow the pace. Or not! Still way too early to know for sure, but I am very hopeful the usual suspects will be tracking the ACS and other data on this subject.

Quote:
Digging down into the migration data, Pittsburgh is a net exporter of people with a high school education or less. Pittsburgh is a net importer of people with a college degree.
I'm wondering what happens to all that if we really get going down the path of population growth, with associated construction job growth, entry-level service job growth, and so on. Again, I don't think it will all get wiped out, but I think the balance may shift at least somewhat.

Quote:
All of the above goes out the window when the Hispanic surge hits SW PA (it has already started).
As an aside, going forward U.S. Hispanics are increasingly going to be native-born, have higher educational-attainment, and be mixed-heritage. This was always expected but the Great Recession has accelerated those trends by leading to a sharp decrease in Hispanic immigration to the United States.

So it is true that eventually the population mix in SWPA is going to be a lot more Hispanic, but those Hispanics (and part-Hispanics) are not going to be the same as the Hispanics in places that experienced large amounts of direct Hispanic immigration in recent decades.
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Old 12-09-2011, 01:59 PM
 
Location: Kittanning
4,638 posts, read 7,881,613 times
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Originally Posted by h_curtis View Post
A quick look will show, while this is good news, it is mostly to do with mass population losses.
The mass population losses of Detroit didn't seem to help their unemployment rate. Same goes for Youngstown, Wheeling, Johnstown, etc.

Also, the mass population losses of Pittsburgh, Buffalo, Cleveland, Detroit, Youngstown, etc. didn't help their unemployment rates in the '80s and '90s.

So your theory that losing population causes a city's unemployment rate to go down might be a little off.
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Old 12-09-2011, 02:03 PM
 
7,112 posts, read 8,750,098 times
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Originally Posted by BrianTH View Post
Just an aside, but keep in mind that central city population counts are subject to the arbitrary nature of central city boundaries. In general, we are using metropolitan area employment figures, so we should be using metropolitan area population figures for comparison.
Yes, but there has been a trend of a return to the central city. Atlanta is up slightly from 2000 after decades of decline. Pittsburgh's, Buffalo's, and Cleveland's central cities are still bleeding people...Buffalo lost 10.7%. I would think these cities should have seen their city population stabilizing.
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