So the President is coming to Pittsburgh on Friday to talk about manufacturing. We may be at the point now where people forget how much manufacturing was lost here. At the beginning of the 1970’s the region had just over 325 thousand manufacturing jobs. Depending on the month, we are around 90 thousand today. It’s almost hard to imagine the region if we took Pittsburgh today and added in the net 235K manufacturing jobs that were lost. It’s even a bit hard to figure where we would be right now if we just added back in the 40 thousand or so manufacturing jobs lost in just the last decade. Yes, that really is the story of late. It’s not all ancient history and 40K manufacturing jobs that were here in 2000 are not here now. Whatever story you want to paint on how Pittsburgh is doing economically, you have to talk about it realizing the story includes continuing hits. Not just the manufacturing loss, but all the USAirways jobs as well for that matter.
Anyway, this is what the long term manufacturing trend looks like. Still scary to look at and it’s just lines on a page. Each job was someone’s career, in most cases their only career, and in many households the only wage earner. Lots of pain in that graph.