Healthcare Fuels Pittsburgh's Comeback

The onetime steel capital's transition to an economy based on the healthcare sector has helped Pittsburgh emerge from the recession much quicker than many other cities, bringing welcome jobs and questions about its sustainability, reports Don Lee.

Like many communities across the country, Pittsburgh has benefited from the boom in healthcare spending as "new outpatient clinics, doctors' buildings and nursing centers have mushroomed coast to coast to meet higher demand from aging baby boomers and medical advances." In Pittsburgh, this boom has "helped revive neighborhoods, open up more opportunities for women and staunch the region's long population decline," notes Lee.

"Spending for medical care is nearing one-fifth of the American economy, much more than in other developed nations and beyond what governments, businesses and consumers can afford," leaving many anxious about long-term growth propects in the healthcare field, however. That uncertain future, and concerns about "overdependence on a rapidly shifting industry, huge nonprofits that don't generate much in tax revenue, and a business model that exacerbates the disparity in income among workers in different but similar jobs," add a backdrop of unease to Piitsburgh's success story. 

Full Story: Healthcare jobs fuel revival in Pittsburgh

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