It’s fitting to close out a year in which Pittsburgh was designated a “Best of the World” place to visit by National Geographic Traveler by racking up several more accolades.
Sperling’s BestPlaces ranks Pittsburgh as the best city to relocate to in the United States, ahead of Austin, Minneapolis and Denver, among others. The organization, which has been crunching metro data since 1999, says “Pittsburgh is an affordable city that offers the amenities of a megalopolis with added stability.”
The Brookings Institution also places Pittsburgh among a rarified group, one of just three metros in the nation that have fully recovered from the Great Recession. According to Brookings’ Global Metro Monitor, the other two are Knoxville, Tenn. and Dallas.
And The Economist has weighed in with a look at employment growth in the five years since the onset of the Great Recession. The headline, “Let’s All Be Texas,” may have missed the real story. Sure, three out of the five best-performing economies in the country are in Texas: Austin, Houston and San Antonio. And Oklahoma City ranks third. But Pittsburgh ranks fifth, ahead of Dallas and even Washington, D.C. In fact, our region is the only metro in the industrial Midwest to make the top ten.
The timing of all this attention is even sweeter as we look forward to next year. 2013 is the 30thanniversary of the year that our region hit rock bottom. In 1983 the metro unemployment rate was 18.3 percent. In Beaver County it was something like 29 percent. The following year, more than 50,000 left the region.
Those trends have been dramatically reversed, and over the past generation our region has been re-imagined and re-made. Happy anniversary to everyone who’s played a part. With the kind of momentum we’ve had lately, the best is yet to come.