Office of Mayor William Peduto
Report on Advancing the Pittsburgh Region Shows Economic Contributions of Immigrants

Pittsburgh, PA (July 12, 2016)  – Today Mayor William Peduto and Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald held a press conference to announce the Report on Advancing the Pittsburgh Region Shows Economic Contributions of Immigrants in partnership with PA Economy League of Greater Pittsburgh – Allegheny Conference. In conjunction with the event, Partnership for a New American Economy (PNAE) released a research brief that highlights the economic and demographic contributions of immigrants in the Pittsburgh region. The brief shows that the 10-county Pittsburgh region’s 82,308 immigrant residents have a significant positive impact on southwestern Pennsylvania’s economy through high rates of workforce participation in key industries, tax contributions, and spending power.

“This report shows that immigrants advance the economy of the Pittsburgh region,” said John Feinblatt, Chairman of the Partnership for a New American Economy. “Immigrants work in Pittsburgh’s top industries like manufacturing, education, and health care; strengthen the local tax base; and start businesses that create jobs in Allegheny County and across the region.”

“Pittsburgh was built by a skilled, hardworking and thriving immigrant community. This report is a great reminder of how vital the growing immigrant and Latino community is to our region’s future success and stability,” said Mayor William Peduto, City of Pittsburgh.

“This report shows, again, what we’ve known in our region for quite some time – that immigrants and foreign-born residents play an important part in our region’s economy,” said Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald. “Our region is a growing one with opportunity for everyone. Embracing those individuals who are newly-calling Allegheny County home is just one more way to recognize their role in our continued growth and development.”

Adnan Hilton Pehlivan, owner of Istanbul Sofra a Turkish restaurant in Pittsburgh, joined the press conference to share his perspective as an immigrant and business owner. “We wanted to be part of the new Pittsburgh,” Adnan said. “It’s my job to pay back my city. My job is to build new businesses, pay taxes, and provide jobs.” 

The report, “Advancing the Pittsburgh Region,” finds:

  • Immigrants contributed $6.8 billion to Allegheny County’s GDP, as well as $217 million in state and local taxes.
  • Immigrants in Allegheny County held $1.8 billion in spending power, 6.3 percent of the county’s total spending power, with Asian immigrants alone contributing $912 million and Latino immigrants contributing $108 million.
  • The Pittsburgh region’s population slightly declined by 0.1% between 2009 and 2014, decreasing from 2,571,680 to 2,569,558.5 However, during this time the foreign-born population increased by 7.9%, from 76,286 to 82,308, helping offset this decline.
  • Between 2000 and 2014, the growth in the foreign-born population increased the total housing value in Allegheny County by more than $1 billion.
  • Foreign-born residents are more likely to start new businesses than the U.S.-born in Allegheny County. In 2014, while only about 1 in 15 U.S.-born workers was self-employed, 1 in 10 foreign-born residents in Allegheny County was self-employed, higher than the national average of about 1 in 13.
  • In Allegheny County in 2012, businesses owned by Latino residents had $248 million in sales, and 1,216 paid employees. In the City of Pittsburgh, such businesses had $109 million in sales, and 268 paid employees.
  • In the fall of 2014, the City of Pittsburgh hosted 8,857 students on temporary resident visas. These students boosted city’s economy by supporting 5,624 local jobs and contributing $338 million in spending.
  • Because of the role immigrants play in the workforce helping companies keep jobs on U.S. soil, it is estimated that immigrants in Allegheny County helped create or preserve 2,893 local manufacturing jobs that would have otherwise vanished or moved elsewhere.
  • In 2014, a vast majority (83.5 percent) of the foreign-born in Allegheny County had lived there for more than a year.

This report is released in conjunction with the announcement that Pittsburgh is one of 20 communities selected in the Gateways for Growth Challenge, an opportunity from PNAE and Welcoming America that invited communities across the United States to apply for support for the development and implementation of multi-sector strategic plans for welcoming and integrating new Americans. Mayor Peduto’s Welcoming Pittsburgh initiative, Economy League of Greater Pittsburgh – Allegheny Conference, and Allegheny County partnered together to apply for and support this opportunity. This report will allow officials to make a strong case to local employers that there is a need to grow and welcome a more diverse workforce.

Read the full report here and check out other briefs on the demographic and economic contributions of immigrants in San José and Santa Clara County, Salt Lake County, Denver, Cincinnati, Columbus, and Toledo.

About Partnership for a New American Economy

The Partnership for a New American Economy brings together more than 500 Republican, Democratic and Independent mayors and business leaders who support immigration reforms that will help create jobs for Americans today. The Partnership’s members include mayors of more than 35 million people nationwide and business leaders of companies that generate more than $1.5 trillion and employ more than 4 million people across all sectors of the economy, from Agriculture to Aerospace, Hospitality to High Tech, and Media to Manufacturing. Partnership members understand that immigration is essential to maintaining the productive, diverse, and flexible workforce that America needs to ensure prosperity over the coming generations. Learn more at



Sarah Roy, Partnership for a New American Economy:




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