The retail and hospitality sector is a big employer all across the country and Pittsburgh is no exception, with more than a quarter million jobs. Hospitality in particular has become something of a growth industry, with the number of hotel rooms in the region having doubled over the past decade, much of it due to rising demand from the region's growing natural gas industry and its supply chain.
Despite the increase in capacity, Pittsburgh boasts one of the highest hotel occupancy rates among regions of its size, which would seem to assure continued investment and job growth for the foreseeable future. Beyond the many retail jobs in regional malls, shopping centers, and neighborhood retail districts, Pittsburgh is home to several national retail companies, including American Eagle Outfitters, which was founded in Pittsburgh in 1977; Dick's Clothing & Sporting Goods, which relocated its headquarters to Pittsburgh more than a decade ago and has since grown into one the largest "big box" sporting goods retailer in the country; and Rue 21, a fast-growing chain catering to teens and young adults that was also founded in Pittsburgh.Big regional companies in the retail and hospitality sector include Giant Eagle, one of the largest privately-held grocery retailers and wholesalers in the country and Eat 'n Park Hospitality Group, which operates a growing chain of family restaurants and popular eateries such as Hello Bistro, Six Penn, and The Porch.
Pittsburgh's thriving restaurant scene has drawn recent coverage from The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal, much of it the result of expatriate Pittsburghers (we call them Boomerangs) who've come home to make Pittsburgh a must-taste stop in the growing farm-to-table movement. Dining options -- and opportunities to work on the cutting edge of the culinary arts -- have never been better here.