Pittsburgh Technical Council

Annual Business Investment Scorecard Highlights What’s Driving the Pittsburgh Region’s Economy

Annual Business Investment Scorecard Highlights What’s Driving the Pittsburgh Region’s Economy

Article Published: March 24, 2016

Today, the Pittsburgh Regional Alliance (PRA) – the economic development marketing affiliate of the Allegheny Conference on Community Development – presented its ninth annual Business Investment Scorecard: a look under the hood at the engine that’s the regional economy and a spotlight on companies that announced plans in 2015 to rev up for new or increased business success in southwestern Pennsylvania.
What’s Driving the Pittsburgh Region Economy?
In total, 275 total business deals were tracked by the PRA and its economic development partners across the 10-county region. Included were 206 investment deals (attractions, expansions, relocations, retentions and startups) and 69 development deals (real estate and infrastructure). Related capital investment tallied $2.9 billion, marking the ninth consecutive year that the total exceeded $1 billion. The total employment anticipated as a result of these investment announcements is 14,951: 5,417 new jobs and 9,534 retained jobs. This marks the highest overall anticipated job impact since 2011.
At the same time, the direct impact is not the full impact; these investments deliver a “multiplier effect.”  “What’s trending is that in addition to the actual anticipated job creation and retention that are associated with the deals we track, many investments are tied to a robust regional supply chain,” said PRA President David Ruppersberger.  “Businesses that are growing here need other businesses to supply all that’s necessary to keep operations humming.  It’s construction workers, truck drivers, makers of hardware and packaging, back office support and so much more.  The supply chain in the region is where jobs – and entrepreneurial opportunities – really begin to multiply.”
Manufacturing Remains Most Active Sector; Financial & Business Services and Info Tech Tie for Second
For the seventh time in nine years, manufacturing had the strongest showing in terms of investment activity with 63 deals announced.  Financial and business services tied with information technology as the second most active sector (37 deals each) and activity in the energy sector was exactly the same in 2015 as it was in 2014 (31 deals), underscoring that energy continues to create opportunity in the region, just not at the same pace as it previously had.
Stability continues to define the Pittsburgh region, even as the global economy has been upended with energy markets down, earnings in decline and security increasingly compromised. 
Watch a video of PRA Chairperson Laura Shapira Karet – CEO of Giant Eagle, Inc. – talking about why Pittsburgh is working for so many companies.
In Pittsburgh, Regional Economy Delivers Consistent Performance
Consistent investment activity across key sectors keeps the regional economy performing at a steady pace. This trend is shown by the annual compilation and analysis of business investment activity in southwestern Pennsylvania that’s been undertaken by the PRA and its region-wide partners and reported publically since 2007.
 
“Since the Great Recession, Pittsburgh looks solid,” according to Jim Futrell, vice president of market research and analysis for the PRA.  Futrell oversees the scorecard’s compilation and provides an annual analysis.  “Diversification of our economy is paying off. Being dependent on five key sectors – not one – carried us through the recession.  We didn’t fall as far as other regions did, and we emerged from recession quicker.  Diversification has set up the region to be a consistent performer, with a fair share of investment from higher-paying industries.  For the past nine years, consistency and steadiness carry the day because economic development is a marathon, not a sprint.”
Click here to read the complete news release or Listen to PRA President Ruppersberger give more details.

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