Thursday, January 29, 2009

Pittsburgh Job Market on a Slippery Slope

As the recession begins to deepen in the Pittsburgh region we are seeing an inability of local employers to make decisions about their recruitment plans. We continue to speak with hundreds of Pittsburgh area recruiters each week and are hearing from many of them that they have open positions they need to fill but either are not allowed, at least for the short term, to spend money in the effort, or are fearful of filling a position only to be told within weeks or months that they have to lay the new employee off.

Pittsburgh recruiters are currently just holding their breath. Many of our postings have communicated how we in Pittsburgh are fairing better than most areas around the country. The next month or two should really set the tone of how hard we are ultimately hit for all of 2009.

Most of the layoff announcements that have been publically made over the past month or two that affect Pittsburgh workers have been primarily companies with a national presence (Target, Ericsson, Home Depot, Circuit City) or large financial institutions (PNC Bank, BNY Mellon).

Healthcare and education continue to be the strength of our current job market condition. By keeping, and even continuing to increase, overall jobs in these areas of strength, other area support industries (retail, hospitality and other service industries) have been able to maintain more strength (jobs) than they would otherwise. This is different than in 2001-2002 when we lost 10,000 jobs from US Air.

The most optimistic forecasts predict the recession will continue to deepen until at least June. We will continue to report on strengths and weaknesses for our local job market as we see them.

To try and leave with at least one piece of good news, Single Source Roofing will be adding 50 jobs soon as they move into their new corporate headquarters in the Southpoint Business Park (see announcement from the
Pittsburgh Business Times) and Yellow cab will be expanding as they add new service to the south hills area (see Pittsburgh Post gazette article).