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News Release Information

20-2042-PHI
Friday, October 30, 2020

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Pittsburgh Area Employment – September 2020

Local Rate of Employment Loss Faster than the National Average

Total nonfarm employment for the Pittsburgh, PA Metropolitan Statistical Area stood at 1,108,600 in September 2020, down 92,4000, or 7.7 percent, over the year, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. During the same period, the national job count decreased 6.4 percent. Sheila Watkins, the Bureau’s regional commissioner, noted that the Pittsburgh area has had consecutive over-the-year employment decreases since March 2020. (See chart 1 and table 1; the Technical Note at the end of this release contains metropolitan area definitions. All data in this release are not seasonally adjusted; accordingly, over-the-year analysis is used throughout.)

Industry employment

In the Pittsburgh metropolitan area, leisure and hospitality had the largest employment loss from September 2019 to September 2020, losing 37,000 jobs. The local 30.2-percent rate of decrease compared to the 21.7-percent national decrease for this industry. (See chart 2.)

Five other local supersectors had job losses of at least 5,000 since last September: education and health services (-14,500); trade, transportation, and utilities (-12,700); professional and business services (-6,900); and construction (-6,100); and manufacturing (-5,400).

Metropolitan area employment data for October 2020 are scheduled to be released on Friday, November 20, 2020, at 10:00 a.m. (ET).

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Impact on September 2020 Establishment Survey Data

BLS has continued to review all estimation and methodological procedures for the establishment survey, which included the review of data, estimation processes, the application of the birth-death model, and seasonal adjustment. Business births and deaths cannot be adequately captured by the establishment survey as they occur. Therefore, the Current Employment Statistics (CES) program uses a model to account for the relatively stable net employment change generated by business births and deaths. Due to the impact of COVID-19, the relationship between business births and deaths is no longer stable. Typically, reports with zero employment are not included in estimation. For the August final and September preliminary estimates, CES included a portion of these reports in the estimates and made modifications to the birth-death model. In addition for both months, the establishment survey included a portion of the reports that returned to reporting positive employment from reporting zero employment. For more information, see www.bls.gov/web/empsit/cesbd.htm

In the establishment survey, workers who are paid by their employer for all or any part of the pay period including the 12th of the month are counted as employed, even if they were not actually at their jobs. Workers who are temporarily or permanently absent from their jobs and are not being paid are not counted as employed, even if they are continuing to receive benefits. The length of the reference period does vary across the respondents in the establishment survey; one-third of businesses have a weekly pay period, slightly over 40 percent a bi-weekly, about 20 percent semi-monthly, and a small amount monthly.


Technical Note

This release presents nonfarm payroll employment estimates from the Current Employment Statistics (CES) program. The CES survey is a Federal-State cooperative endeavor between State employment security agencies and the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Definitions. Employment data refer to persons on establishment payrolls who receive pay for any part of the pay period which includes the 12th of the month. Persons are counted at their place of work rather than at their place of residence; those appearing on more than one payroll are counted on each payroll. Industries are classified on the basis of their principal activity in accordance with the 2017 version of the North American Industry Classification System.

Method of estimation. CES State and Area employment data are produced using several estimation procedures. Where possible these data are produced using a "weighted link relative" estimation technique in which a ratio of current-month weighted employment to that of the previous-month weighted employment is computed from a sample of establishments reporting for both months. The estimates of employment for the current month are then obtained by multiplying these ratios by the previous month's employment estimates. The weighted link relative technique is utilized for data series where the sample size meets certain statistical criteria.

For some employment series, the sample of establishments is very small or highly variable. In these cases, a model-based approach is used in estimation. These models use the direct sample estimates (described above), combined with forecasts of historical (benchmarked) data to decrease volatility in estimation. Two different models (Fay-Herriot Model and Small Domain Model) are used depending on the industry level being estimated. For more detailed information about each model, refer to the BLS Handbook of Methods.

Annual revisions. Employment estimates are adjusted annually to a complete count of jobs, called benchmarks, derived principally from tax reports which are submitted by employers who are covered under state unemployment insurance (UI) laws. The benchmark information is used to adjust the monthly estimates between the new benchmark and the preceding one and also to establish the level of employment for the new benchmark month. Thus, the benchmarking process establishes the level of employment, and the sample is used to measure the month-to-month changes in the level for the subsequent months.

Reliability of the estimates. The estimates presented in this release are based on sample surveys, administrative data, and modeling and, thus, are subject to sampling and other types of errors. Sampling error is a measure of sampling variability—that is, variation that occurs by chance because a sample rather than the entire population is surveyed. Survey data are also subject to nonsampling errors, such as those which can be introduced into the data collection and processing operations. Estimates not directly derived from sample surveys are subject to additional errors resulting from the special estimation processes used. The sums of individual items may not always equal the totals shown in the same tables because of rounding.

Employment estimates. Measures of sampling error for the total nonfarm employment series are available for metropolitan areas and metropolitan divisions at www.bls.gov/sae/additional-resources/reliability-of-state-and-area-estimates.htm. Measures of sampling error for more detailed series at the area and division level are available upon request. Measures of sampling error for states at the supersector level and for the private service-providing, goods-producing, total private and total nonfarm levels are available on the BLS website at www.bls.gov/sae/additional-resources/reliability-of-state-and-area-estimates.htm. Information on recent benchmark revisions is available online at www.bls.gov/sae/publications/benchmark-article/annual-benchmark-article.pdf.

Area definitions. The substate area data published in this release reflect the standards and definitions established by the U.S. Office of Management and Budget on April 10, 2018. A detailed list of the geographic definitions is available at www.bls.gov/lau/lausmsa.htm.

The Pittsburgh, PA Metropolitan Statistical Area includes Allegheny, Armstrong, Beaver, Butler, Fayette, Washington, and Westmoreland Counties in Pennsylvania.

Additional information

More complete information on the technical procedures used to develop these estimates and additional data appear in Employment and Earnings, which is available online at www.bls.gov/opub/ee/home.htm. Detailed industry employment data for metropolitan areas from the CES program are available from the State and Area Employment databases at www.bls.gov/sae/data/home.htm.

Information in this release will be made available to sensory impaired individuals upon request. Voice phone: (202) 691-5200; Federal Relay Service: (800) 877-8339.

Employees on nonfarm payrolls by industry supersector, United States and the Pittsburgh Metropolitan Statistical Area, not seasonally adjusted (in thousands)
AreaBack
data
Sep
2019
Jul
2020
Aug
2020
Sep
2020
Sep 2019 to
Sep 2020
Net
change
Percent
change

United States

Total nonfarm

Go to web page with historical data for series CEU0000000001
151,556139,076(p)140,718(p)141,855(p)-9,701(p)-6.4

Mining and logging

Go to web page with historical data for series CEU1000000001
738630(p)620(p)619(p)-119(p)-16.1

Construction

Go to web page with historical data for series CEU2000000001
7,7007,427(p)7,461(p)7,415(p)-285(p)-3.7

Manufacturing

Go to web page with historical data for series CEU3000000001
12,88012,175(p)12,212(p)12,224(p)-656(p)-5.1

Trade, transportation, and utilities

Go to web page with historical data for series CEU4000000001
27,57526,095(p)26,403(p)26,591(p)-984(p)-3.6

Information

Go to web page with historical data for series CEU5000000001
2,8602,583(p)2,601(p)2,607(p)-253(p)-8.8

Financial activities

Go to web page with historical data for series CEU5500000001
8,7758,681(p)8,703(p)8,682(p)-93(p)-1.1

Professional and business services

Go to web page with historical data for series CEU6000000001
21,47920,010(p)20,220(p)20,239(p)-1,240(p)-5.8

Education and health services

Go to web page with historical data for series CEU6500000001
24,25722,646(p)22,835(p)23,125(p)-1,132(p)-4.7

Leisure and hospitality

Go to web page with historical data for series CEU7000000001
16,75913,152(p)13,231(p)13,124(p)-3,635(p)-21.7

Other services

Go to web page with historical data for series CEU8000000001
5,8945,409(p)5,445(p)5,433(p)-461(p)-7.8

Government

Go to web page with historical data for series CEU9000000001
22,63920,268(p)20,987(p)21,796(p)-843(p)-3.7

Pittsburgh, PA Metropolitan Statistical Area

Total Nonfarm

Go to web page with historical data for series SMU42383000000000001
1,201.01,085.21,092.4(p)1,108.6(p)-92.4(p)-7.7

Mining and logging

Go to web page with historical data for series SMU42383001000000001
11.59.89.9(p)9.9(p)-1.6(p)-13.9

Construction

Go to web page with historical data for series SMU42383002000000001
67.461.961.4(p)61.3(p)-6.1(p)-9.1

Manufacturing

Go to web page with historical data for series SMU42383003000000001
86.782.982.0(p)81.3(p)-5.4(p)-6.2

Trade, transportation, and utilities

Go to web page with historical data for series SMU42383004000000001
206.1187.9189.5(p)193.4(p)-12.7(p)-6.2

Information

Go to web page with historical data for series SMU42383005000000001
19.617.017.0(p)16.9(p)-2.7(p)-13.8

Financial activities

Go to web page with historical data for series SMU42383005500000001
76.577.776.4(p)76.3(p)-0.2(p)-0.3

Professional and business Services

Go to web page with historical data for series SMU42383006000000001
184.9174.7176.3(p)178.0(p)-6.9(p)-3.7

Education and health Services

Go to web page with historical data for series SMU42383006500000001
260.2236.8239.2(p)245.7(p)-14.5(p)-5.6

Leisure and hospitality

Go to web page with historical data for series SMU42383007000000001
122.487.289.0(p)85.4(p)-37.0(p)-30.2

Other services

Go to web page with historical data for series SMU42383008000000001
49.343.544.4(p)44.9(p)-4.4(p)-8.9

Government

Go to web page with historical data for series SMU42383009000000001
116.4105.8107.3(p)115.5(p)-0.9(p)-0.8

Footnotes
(p) Preliminary

 

Last Modified Date: Friday, October 30, 2020