Money Masters: The Pittsburgh Area By The Numbers

Where our region ranks in child poverty, employment, health care coverage, population, income and commuting time.

Median Income

Behind the numbers: The median income is based on the 531,000 households in Allegheny County and 133,000 households in Pittsburgh in 2016, the latest figures available. In 2015, there were 529,534 households in Allegheny County and 132,802 in the city.
 

Unemployment

Behind the numbers: Although the unemployment rate has dropped dramatically, this past May only 100 more people reported they had jobs than in May 2013. What happened? Over the course of five years, our labor force has lost 38,100 workers.
 

Employers

Behind the numbers: There were 1.2 million jobs in the seven-county Pittsburgh metropolitan region in May. In 2012, the latest year available, Allegheny County had the same number of healthcare and social assistance establishments, 4,423, as it did retail establishments. But employment in those industries was vastly different, with 123,000 people working in health care and social assistance while 73,000 worked in retail. Retail trade had $249 million in receipts that year while the total amount brought in by health care and social assistance was $202 million.
 

Federal Reserve Report

The Pittsburgh region is included in the oversight of the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland. In July, the Federal Reserve released the “Summary of Commentary on Current Economic Conditions by Federal Reserve District,” more commonly known as the Beige Book, both for the color of its jacket and its commentary. In the Cleveland District, the Fed reported that business activity grew “moderately.” Employers reported that demand was strong, but hiring did not pick up “as a dearth of qualified workers constrained hiring.” This meant wages also rose “moderately.”

Costs in the region were up for both fuel and metal, and business people told the Fed investigators that costs rose because of import tariffs. But despite those cost increases, businesses remained hesitant to pass those increases along and only raised their prices “moderately.”

The Fed reported a positive economic indicator in July: Freight volumes trended higher.
 

Child Poverty

Behind the numbers: In Allegheny County, nearly 1 out of 5 children under 5 years old lives below the poverty line. That translates to 12,016 children. In Pittsburgh, 4,978 children live below the poverty line. (2016 figures)
 

Uninsured

Behind the numbers: In Allegheny County, 5,718 children under 18, or 2.4%, do not have health insurance. In the city, 1,639 children (3.5%), are uninsured. (2016 figures)
 

Population: Allegheny County

Behind the numbers: After a few years of growth, Allegheny County’s population is falling again. After the 2010 census, when the population was determined to be 1,223,348 people, the county saw an increase in population, based on estimates from the U.S. Census that the population hit 1,233,892 in 2013. But the latest estimate, for 2017, has the county dropping below the 2010 level by 300 people to 1,223,048.
 

Population: Pittsburgh

Behind the numbers: Since the 2010 U.S. Census, the city of Pittsburgh has experienced a net loss of population. The 2010 report set the city’s population at 305,704. Over the next three years, the population, according to U.S. Census estimates, climbed to 307,064, but there has been a steady decline since then. In 2017, the Census estimated the city’s population at 302,407, or 3,297 fewer Pittsburghers than in 2010.
 

Commute Time

Behind the numbers: Over the last five years, the percentage of Allegheny County residents who are taking public transit dropped slightly from 9.8 percent, while the number of people driving alone to work has risen slightly from 71.2 percent to 72.1 percent. While the U.S. Census does not keep track of bicycle commuters, per se, it does track “other means” of getting to work. In 2010, 2,723 people who lived in the city used “other means” to get to work. That rose to 4,532 by 2016, the latest year available. Those commuters could, however, be using scooters, skateboards, roller skates or Segways.

Sources: U.S. Census, U.S. Census American Fact Finder, PA Department of Labor and Industry for the Pittsburgh Metropolitan Statistical Area

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