Pittsburgh Market Report
Employment Contraction Largely Mirrors Nation’s; Lower Energy Prices May Cause Future Hurdles
Late spring hiring burst partially offsets initial job losses. Precautions taken to prevent the spread of COVID-19 lowered total employment in Pittsburgh by 19 percent between February and April, similar to the nation’s 15 percent decline. Hiring quickly returned, however, with metro employers restoring 95,700 of the 225,600 initially lost positions in May and June, surpassing the U.S. growth rate in that span. A summer surge in infections curbed job gains in July and August, however, to a more modest 26,000 additional roles. Staff sizes across all major sectors remain below their pre-pandemic level, with the leisure and hospitality sector down the most at a 33 percent payroll reduction through August. Lessening restrictions on dining, travel, and personal gatherings will help to improve this metric moving forward, assuming a continued reduction in new coronavirus cases.