Most Stable Region of Pittsburgh

So in the spirit of the end of year retrospectives we will be having all week this came to mind.  In October I pointed out that for the Pittsburgh region, it was the highest employment count for an October ever.  Same for November.  Following from that, I was thinking a bit about some analysis by the folks at the parent of the business times which showed Pittsburgh among a small set of regions that are at their decade high employment peaks.

That analysis might be misread a bit.  It is not that Pittsburgh is among the top employment gainers over the decade.  We are one of a few regions currently hitting their decade high peaks.  Lots of regions have had more growth over the decade, but many have dropped a lot from those peaks in recent years. In lots of ways it is a reflection of the relative stability here, not a lot of job growth.

So I made a graphic of the employment change for the 50 largest MSAs (currently, by employment) over the last decade.  So with November 2001 as a baseline, below is what those trends looks like; Pittsburgh is in red.  It works out, and I calculated this explicitly that Pittsburgh is in a sense the single  most stable employment time series among all 50 regions.  Stable as defined by the difference in this time series between the peak and trough over the decade.  The difference between the peak and trough for Pittsburgh works out to 6.67 across the decade, which works out to the lowest range for any of the 50 regions.

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