Tuesday, January 13, 2009

For Pittsburgh, there's life after steel

By David Streitfeld
International Herald Tribune
January 9, 2009

PITTSBURGH: This is what life in one American city looks like after an industrial collapse:

Unemployment here is 5.5 percent, far below the national average. While housing prices sank nearly everywhere in the last year, they rose here. Wages are also up. Foreclosures are comparatively uncommon.

A generation ago, the steel industry that built Pittsburgh and still dominated its economy entered its death throes. In the early 1980s, the city was being talked about the way Detroit is now. Its very survival was in question.

Deindustrialization in Pittsburgh was a protracted and painful experience. Yet it set the stage for an economy that is the envy of many recession-plagued communities, particularly those where the automobile industry is struggling for its life.

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