Pittsburgh Business Times – by G. Scott Thomas

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The U.S. economy has unraveled at a breathtaking pace since the middle of last year.

Nearly 6 million private-sector jobs have vanished since June 2008, equaling a loss of 485,000 jobs per month. The national unemployment rate has skyrocketed nearly four points over the same span — from 5.6 percent at last year’s midpoint to 9.5 percent this year.

No section of the country has been immune to the recession’s ravages. But a few areas are still doing reasonably well, notably Texas, which includes four of America’s five hottest labor markets, according to a new bizjournals study.

The Pittsburgh metro area improved its standing on the survey over the past two years, moving up from No. 84 in 2007, to No. 56 last year, to No. 30 this year. The region lost 31,300 private-sector jobs since mid-2008, a 3 percent decline. That’s still better than the 5 percent decline in private sector jobs recorded nationally, according to the study.

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