Why Pittsburgh is becoming a boomtown
Proximity to new oil and natural gas sites is drawing interest from abroad and fueling the city's economic and population growth.
Life is pretty good in Pittsburgh right now, and more folks from abroad want a piece of that good life for themselves.
Cost-of-living data company AIRINC recently put Pittsburgh on its "cities to watch" list after businesses in other countries started asking for data. As CNNMoney notes, oil companies including Conoco Philips (COP), Hess (HES), Devon Energy (DVN), Marathon (MARA), Anadarko Petroleum (APC), Murphy Oil (MUR) and Noble Energy (NBL) have been divesting their foreign holdings and setting up shop in Pennsylvania, Ohio and elsewhere in the U.S.
That puts Pittsburgh in a good position to pull in some of the $5 trillion expected to be invested in U.S. shale oil and other "unconventional" energy developments by 2035, according to consultancy IHS.
While 1.7 million people currently work in or around the new energy-rich areas opened up by hydraulic fracturing and other extraction methods, IHS expects the energy sector to directly or indirectly support 3.5 million American jobs by 2035. CNNMoney adds that energy companies from China, France, Spain and elsewhere are also investing in regions of the U.S. rich in oil and natural gas.
That's good news for a town just getting used to hearing some. From 1950 to 2010, Pittsburgh's population declined steadily, from nearly 677,000 to close to 306,000, as the city's industrial base withered and jobs dried up. In the past few years, however, Census data indicate the city is growing for the first time since the 1940s.
Pittsburgh's gross domestic product has increased by roughly $10 billion in the past five years as it transitions from manufacturing dependence to a more multifaceted economy. Carnegie-Mellon University, the University of Pittsburgh and its medical center provide much of the job base, despite the industrial presence of U.S. Steel (X) and PPG Industries (PPG).
After decades of playing the fading, "Flashdance" underdogs, the Yinzers of Pittsburgh are now living in America's newest boomtown. It's been a long wait, but the world's powers are on the city's doorstep if it wants to let them in.
Welcome PNC Financial Services? Perhaps the author is not aware that the PNC stands, or stood for Pittsburgh National Bank.......It was the Mellons packed up and left town...
Cheers for a nice article on my old hometown. Great place!
As a long time resident of Pittsburgh, I love this city. Pittsburgh has worked hard to change it's industry and has been very successful. The people of Pittsburgh are ready for growth, but our local government and unions will cause many companies to move to other cities. It is a shame as the people of Pittsburgh are great and deserve better.
I love Pittsburgh - I don't live there but I love to visit it. There are so many things to do and see. We go every June for a weekend. One of my favorite places :)
Pittsburgh has people that live in the city only because the road system is so antiquated and complicated that they can't figure out how to drive out of town.
Born and raised there, left in 75 for Texas. The Burg has seen some remarkable change over the years, but it is headed for disaster with the Democratic controlled government and it's archaic unions.
Those two entities destroyed Detroit & Chicago and same will happen to Pittsburgh in time. Democrats just have no vision for good growth and are inherently corrupt....Just keep watching the decay.....All major cities that have democrats in charge for a long time have been spiraling down. Don't believe it, look at the sewer in Washington created by the Dems. It just an undeniable fact of live.
Oh, and I don't think the unions, taxes, or anything else are keeping businesses out of Pittsburgh. In fact, it looks like a lot of businesses are moving or starting in Pittsburgh. There has been a steady growth of the number of new businesses within city limits for the past 5 years. That's not bad considering what happened to the global economy 5 years ago. Is Pittsburgh a union town? Yes, in some ways, but not anywhere near to the degree that some people posting here seem to think it is. Union membership in the city has been declining for decades now. Outside of a few industries there just isn't that much presence here anymore.
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