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TheGerbil

Kind of tired of this

10 posts in this topic

People blaming the city because they can't get a job, making big generalizations or exaggerations.

I know it's not as easy to get a job here as in some boomtown, and I know wages are below the national average. But I have looked at lists comparing average salary in various cities, and Pittsburgh is always close to comparable cities. Maybe a little lower but not much. Job growth isn't as bad as people think either, it's stable and in some sectors actually pretty good.

There are some issues that need to be addressed (although no one seems to know how, including myself). But it does not help when people say "I'm done with this town! There are no jobs here!" I guess if that's their attitude then at least it means less competition for others. But it's a little frustrating to hear/read that so frequently. Not everyone finds a job fast in booming cities, and some people find good jobs very quickly here. Some people just love to assume that their own experiences are everyone's (and if they keep reading similar comments from others I guess it's no wonder).

As with many things, I think a portion of the problem is people's attitudes. I really believe that if we fix this city's collective self-esteem, we're more than halfway there (wherever "there" is).

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Job growth is bad, really bad. There isn't a silver lining to that indicator. That's one aspect of the Pittsburgh economy that is as bad as advertised. However, keep in mind that the people who complain the loudest about the Burgh job market do so because they really want to live in Pittsburgh. And the lower wages are a result of the same phenomenon.

If people were in such a hurry to get out of Pittsburgh, then wages would be higher than they are. The truth is that local businesses enjoy a glut of talent thanks to top-notch universities.

If someone needs to leave in order to find gainful employment, I say we help her or him relocate.

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People will always complain, regardless of whether their complaints are legitimate or not. I'd try not to let this bug you too much. From other discussions on here, I think Pittsburgh employment prospects really depend on what your job focus is. As in just about any place, some professions will suit the economy much better than others.

I'm lucky to teach math - I was able to find a teaching job here very easily while others struggled. I know several teachers who had to move south in order to land a job. This won't necessarily be the case across the board, but with many universities pumping out hundred(s) of new teachers every year, it's pretty competetive. On the same not, my sister who's in the medical field let the hospitals bid on her.

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Job growth is bad, really bad. There isn't a silver lining to that indicator. That's one aspect of the Pittsburgh economy that is as bad as advertised. However, keep in mind that the people who complain the loudest about the Burgh job market do so because they really want to live in Pittsburgh. And the lower wages are a result of the same phenomenon.

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What's your basis for saying job growth is bad? Everything I have read says it's slow but steady. I guess compared to a boomtown that is bad, but I wouldn't say that it's truly bad, just not good. I guess it's a matter of how you look at it.

Your second point is a good one. I have certainly thought about that, but it still pains me to see people saying such extreme things. I probably care more than I should about this kind of stuff, but I always have.

Of course I also do want to see more job growth here. So part of the reason these comments bother me is that they do contain some truth, a truth which I don't like. But they also tend to exaggerate and generalize in ways that get on my nerves. I'd love to hear more from the people who do find good jobs here, to balance out the negative stories. But people who have complaints are always the most vocal no matter what the subject.

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I agree with your last sentence, Globalburgh. We need someone with economic credibility... like Mark DeSantis.

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Fair enough. I'm generally of the opinion that when you rank things, there will always be a top 25% and a bottom 25%, so being in the bottom chunk isn't necessarily bad. But I do want to see more job growth here, a lot more. I agree with you. I'm just wary of the word "bad" for a variety of reasons. I feel that focusing on the good is the best route to improvement. Not ignoring problems, but just looking at them from the perspective of "How can we be even better?" It may sound silly but I think the words we use have power, specifically the power to affect other people's opinions and thus their attitudes.

Anyway, I found an extremely interesting blog entry that is appropriate to this topic. Here is a link if anyone wants to read it: http://nullspace2.blogspot.com/2007/10/you...s-it-wages.html

(You may notice that one commenter thinks wages here are below average because we don't have good companies. But that is utter and complete BS).

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Just to reinforce how much better job growth could be, Harold Miller has a timely post on the subject.

The Post-Gazette provides the positive spin and the Trib plays Negative Nelly. IMO, the Trib is much closer to the truth. I think there is a danger to redding up economic indicators as the Post-Gazette has done.

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I know we need to add more jobs. I certainly want to. But I do think dwelling on the negatives can make things worse. Putting a positive spin on things can be misleading, but I do think it's possible to work on problems while also focusing on the positive.

I think negativity is this region's biggest obstacle to growth. I'm not saying you are being negative globalburgh, but a lot of people are (see my first post in this thread). I think realism with a healthy dose of optimism is what we really need. "Job growth here is behind the national average, but we're adding jobs. We have strengths that we could build on to add more. Let's think of ways to improve." Something like that. Sadly we don't seem to have a newspaper in town with that attitude, we only have the two extremes. (The City Paper gave me hope for a while, but they seem to be pretty negative too).

I think everyone on this board is pretty much a realist with a healthy streak optimism, and that's why I like this forum so much. :)

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An interesting tidbit from the same blog I linked above. Same post even, but this was tucked away in the comments. Says the blogger: "Overall, regional job stats are a lot more complicated to judge and an awful lot of why our growth stats appear anemic are low growth in the most population servicing industries that are being hit by some factors that cant be changed."

I've heard that before. Because we aren't adding population, we aren't adding many population-dependent jobs. A lot of the job growth you see in regions that are growing population-wise is this type of job (service, gov't jobs, teachers, whatever you need more of when you have more people). I wonder how our job growth would stack up to the rest of the country if we didn't include 'population servicing industries' in the analysis. That would be very very interesting to know.

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