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TheGerbil

What do you think about this?

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Maybe having over 100,000 18-24 year olds going to local universities and colleges has something to do with it... we do have a large concentration of students relative to our population.

I was actually rather suprised when I saw this article... as I usually trust the impressive statistical analysis at Pittsburgh Future... but I believe their are some flaws in this particular study.

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I think Evergrey hit the nail on the head... we're a relatively small city with a very large number of students. The majority of those students who are working part-time and summer jobs will technically fall below the poverty line, but they're not the types of people and families that you think of when looking over stats about impoverished people.

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Maybe having over 100,000 18-24 year olds going to local universities and colleges has something to do with it... we do have a large concentration of students relative to our population.

I was actually rather suprised when I saw this article... as I usually trust the impressive statistical analysis at Pittsburgh Future... but I believe their are some flaws in this particular study.

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I didn't see the PG article, but did read Pittsburgh Future's post on this.

As for students, I would guess that non local students are not counted in the population, but are counted in their "census" home.

I have a hard time understanding why Pgh would be better or worse than most other metros.

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Then I would expect other cities with large university populations, such as Boston, to sport similarly poor statistics.

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Large "raw" does not equate to Large "percentage"... the Pittsburgh region is about half the size of the Boston region... but do we have half the students in the 18-24 age cohort? I don't know... but I'm speculating that this may have something to do with our poor showing.

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Yeah...

Perhaps the numbers are correct... but I think it's important for some context and some deeper analysis of the numbers... the sort of thing Chris Briem does... cuz I don't think these damning numbers are fully capturing the story...

On a side note... I do not think it's appropriate to benchmark the Pittsburgh Region with the Boston Region... something for us to strive for? Perhaps. Lessons for Pittsburgh? Sure. Pittsburgh is a major center of higher education in the country and higher-education is one of our core industries... but Boston is one of the great centers of higher education in the world. It is the elite locale in this country in that respect.

somewhat related to this whole issue... the Wall Street Journal just did an article blasting Philadelphia's retention rates of college graduates... benchmarking it with Boston... and they even mentioned Pittsburgh several times as a city struggling to hold on to graduates.

http://users1.wsj.com/lmda/do/checkLogin?m...7958756464.html

from the article: "While a 2004 report showed the Philadelphia area retained a higher percentage of recent graduates than did the Boston metro area -- 64% and 50%, respectively -- most of those who remained were locals to begin with. Only 29% of graduates originally from outside the Philadelphia area stayed on -- compared with 42% in Boston."

Metro Philly has 350,000 students at its 82 colleges and universities. Metro Pittsburgh has 136,000 students at its 33 colleges and universities.

The Tribune Review did an article on this last year:

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburgh...y/s_448668.html

I wish the Trib would be more specific... as the article mysteriously shifts from a study that seems to only include Duquesne, Pitt and CMU... and that mentions rates for Robert Morris ... and then perhaps all universities in the region? Poorly written article unfortunately...

but it basically shows improving trends in retention rates... including at CMU... only 9 percent of its students come from PGH Region... but 20 percent stayed after graduating in 1999 (I think... article is confusing)

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What I've read several times (wish I could recall exactly where so I could link it) is that Pittsburgh is now retaining about 50% of college grads, up from 40% in the mid 1990's. Of course that varies from one school to another, but it's in keeping with the national average. So it's irritating that some article would claim we are struggling to keep them.

I don't know the numbers for local vs. non-local, though. I'd like it if we kept more non-local grads than we do, but it sounds like we're keeping more than we used to. Change takes time.

Well anyway we are getting a wee bit off topic here :)

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My 2 cents on this is that any way you look at it, that kind of unemployment rate and poverty rate need to be addressed no matter how it compares to any other city. There are a lot of potential ways to make this critical age group more attractive to employers and many ways to help them stretch the money they do earn, even if we can't agree on the root causes of these statistics.

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Yes, I think it should be addressed too. But I do think it's useful to see how we stack up to other cities, in order to determine how big of a problem it really is, and what we should shoot for.

I also think it's important to think about what may be behind these statistics, and what they really mean. Living below the poverty line doesn't necessarily mean living in poverty.

You are right though, this should be addressed. Does anyone have some ideas for solutions? My idea is to create a program to help new college grads find entry level jobs (and simultaneously help companies with entry level openings find young applicants).

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