In the course of reducing it reliance on industry and big corporations, Pittsburgh has become one of the more envied stories of urban revival in the Rust Belt. The proportion of Pittsburgh’s work force in manufacturing is now actually lower than the national average, according to Christopher Briem, a University of Pittsburgh professor. But so is its unemployment rate, at 7.2 percent.
"The steel collapse decimated Pittsburgh and its region, taking with it nearly 1 out of every 10 jobs there. Entire towns surrounding the city became obsolete. But it is because of that failure, that absolute bottoming-out, that Pittsburgh has been able to cast aside its past and emerge as a unique showcase of what a small, bustling, connected American city can eventually become."