Worth Your Attention (by John G. Craig Jr.)

One highlight to data on employment and unemployment published here and elsewhere has been the sudden growth spurt in the region's work force. What is going on here? So far there has been no adequate explanation, perhaps for no other reason than the absence of enough time for the development of a decent perspective. The subject is important and the Allegheny Institute Policy Brief of January 14th is very much to the point.

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I heard a story on NPR's Talk of the Nation that said net migration into Florida has fallen to only 5000 this year, after years and years of growth in the tens or hundreds of thousands. So could it be that Western PA is finally attracting people back with the promise of affordable housing and a steadier job market?

Chris Briem had a post that probably explains some of this back in October. http://nullspace2.blogspot.com/2008/10/brain-gain-even-if-not-by-choice.html

Basically, lots of people who would normally seek employment in other cities (recent grads, folks who like moving around and so on) are unable to find work in other cities and take jobs here. Assuming many of these people are renters, the real estate market numbers the Allegheny Institute refers to might not be the ones to look at. I'm interested in the rental numbers.

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