Pittsburgh is recovering jobs lost to the recession faster than many other large metropolitan areas, according to a U.S. Chamber of Commerce report out on Wednesday that focuses on job growth in Pittsburgh and Denver.
Public and private sector leaders planned to highlight the 10-county Pittsburgh region’s economic resiliency today in connection with the chamber’s “Jobs Summit 2012″ in Washington.
Pittsburgh-area employers generated a 3.9 percent increase in jobs when comparing the first quarters of 2010 and 2012. That’s slightly higher than Denver’s 3.8 percent and significantly more than the 2.8 percent average among 49 other regions with more than 1 million residents.
“Pittsburgh has consistently been ranked in the top three or the top five in the country for job creation,” said Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald, who plans to discuss the region’s economy this morning during a presentation at the National Press Club. “It’s being noticed by the world, so the (U.S. Chamber) came to us and invited us to talk about it.”
A much better use of $1.65 billion would be to pay people to relocate to downtown Pittsburgh. Or pay for a 25 year property tax abatement for downtown Pittsburgh. Or plugging the holes in the Port Authority’s budget and expanding transit access.
Instead of trying to develop economic capacity from scratch where it doesn’t exist, the state’s economic policy should be about relocating people to the areas that are already growing.