Pittsburgh’s tech economy is definitely booming, but so are other industries, according to a new report.
Wednesday morning, the Allegheny Conference on Community Development has published its annual Pittsburgh Region Corporate Investment Scorecard – A collection of data tracking corporate investment activity and jobs in the region, collected from the organization’s economic development partners in 10 counties. Now in its 15th year, the report is described as the only regional view of investment and business activity that is captured in one place.
This year’s scorecard reported that those 10 counties brought about $ 3 billion in combined capital investment in 2021 out of a total of 215 deals, an increase of seven from 2020. A total of 150 of these deals were investments for companies with plans to add or retain employees, while 65 were tied to infrastructure real estate developments that are not specifically related to employment impact.
Changes in position and sector
Outside of investment, Pittsburgh saw 39 new commercial attractions or city relocations, nearly double the 21 seen in 2020.
“Despite the shift to hybrid work, to the remote work environment, there is still a need for these more traditional types of back office operations,” Allegheny Conference VP of Market Research Jim Futrell said in a scorecard webinar.
This is in line with the significant number of office openings and expansions the Pittsburgh region has seen in the past year from the technology sector alone. Duolingo, Fogliz, DoorDash, 3M, Aurora and many others have launched new engineering offices or expanded their existing footprints here.
“In recent years, technology, robotics and life sciences have become leading sectors,” Futrell said in a statement. “And in 2021 we saw the emergence of distribution centers and a rebound in manufacturing as key economic drivers. In this pandemic era, facilities such as manufacturing plants, distribution centers, and R&D centers have captured a higher percentage of ads. These are the types of facilities that could not easily be moved to a remote or hybrid work environment. “
The scorecard’s industry analysis showed that Pittsburgh manufacturing firms got the most deals at 60, nearly double that number in 2020 and marking the first time since 2016 that the manufacturing sector got the most. of investment agreements. For the past four years, technology and robotics have held the title of the most important business among the sectors. But in 2021, those only saw 31 deals, down from a total of 38 in 2020. After technology there were financial and business services with 17 deals, energy with 13 deals, and health care and healthcare. life sciences with 10 chords.
Jobs in Pittsburgh are on the rise
While some sectors recorded more activity in 2020 than others, an undeniable aspect of this year’s scorecard is the healthy impact it has had on jobs in the region. Overall, the total employment impact of regional investment was 10,123, marking a 29% increase over the same measure in 2020. Of these, 8,405 were new jobs – the highest level since 2011 – while 1,718 have been kept. On average, each investment project created 56.3 new jobs, marking the second highest number ever recorded for that data point. That employment growth was largely driven by four projects that announced 500 or more jobs: Amazon, Really, Synergy of iron And Express Med.
Pittsburgh Regional Alliance President Marco Antonio Tommaso attributes this rebound and increase in investment deals to efforts by Pittsburgh economic development organizations.
“In the midst of the economic recovery linked to the pandemic, in 2021, a year of transition, we have doubled the advantage of the region’s strengths and their intersection with market demand. This included increased interest from companies looking to invest in American manufacturing, logistics capabilities to alleviate supply chain bottlenecks, and climate-related innovations, such as energy storage and carbon capture, both of which are essential to a low-carbon future, “Thomas said in a statement. Investment and development projects” underscore our message to businesses around the world: ‘The Pittsburgh region is open for business.’
What are the prospects for the region
It is unclear whether 2022 will show a continuation of the trends illustrated in this latest scorecard, but as Allegheny Conference Market Research Manager Elena Gauss noted in the webinar, “we are seeing signs of recovery” in terms of investment volumes from pre-pandemic levels. He added that so far “advanced production includes a greater share of ads than historical”, while investment ads from industries that can be translated more easily in a remote environment, such as financial services or branch offices, have fallen by recent.
“However, the location and distribution announcements have continued to perform well over the years,” said Gaus. “The share of energy-related announcements in the first four months of 2022 has surpassed pre-pandemic levels.”
Sophie Burkholder is a 2021-2022 body member for Report for America, an initiative by The Groundtruth Project that pairs young journalists with local newsrooms. This position is supported by the Heinz Endowments. -30-