A Tech Boom In Pittsburgh Brings Hope And Angst

www.oann.com | 9/21/2018 | Staff
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PITTSBURGH (Reuters) – The city of Pittsburgh, the one-time steel capital that’s long been a symbol of Rust-Belt decline, is emerging as a vibrant hub for artificial intelligence, robotics and biomedical companies eager to tap a rich talent pool.

Yet the resulting economic renaissance is leaving many locals uneasy – a symbol in its own right of the nation’s mounting concerns about the success of high-tech industries and their effect on wages and jobs.

Conference - Pittsburgh - Month - Technology - Companies

At a conference in Pittsburgh last month showcasing new technology companies, Mayor Bill Peduto cautioned the city to avoid the “precarious position” of Silicon Valley, where an explosion of tech wealth has left many people behind.

“It’s at the front of everyone’s brain,” Peduto said.

Number - Pittsburgh-area - Private-sector - Jobs - R

In 2014, the number of Pittsburgh-area private-sector jobs in the scientific and R&D sectors – excluding academic positions – for the first time exceeded those in iron and steel mills, which were the lifeblood of the economy until their collapse 30 years ago. As of March, 2018, there were 41 percent more jobs in R&D than in the mills, according to the Pennsylvania Center for Workforce Information and Analysis.

Benefits of the tech boom have been limited. Around Allegheny County, where steel and natural gas industries still provide an important, albeit declining, number of jobs, about 12 percent of the population still lives in poverty.

Pittsburgh - Angst - Tech - Replaces - Industry

Pittsburgh’s angst comes as new tech replaces old industry, offering the biggest economic opportunity since the first steel mills opened at the end of the 19th century, but with no assurances of who will benefit. The United States Steel Corp building still sits downtown, among the constant reminders of a glorious economic past that gave way to despair 30 years ago.

Many neighborhoods are still pockmarked by long-abandoned warehouses and decrepit homes, and the population of 302,000 is less than half what it...
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