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Recent Job Growth in Pennsylvania is Healthier than in Most States

Posted: March 31, 2011

There has been an evident increase in each state’s level of unemployment due to the U.S. economy. Job growth is one of the most closely watched indicators of a state’s economic situation and Pennsylvania is seen as healthier than most other states.

This brief depicts the three different measures of job growth, comparing Pennsylvania’s performance to the neighboring six states, while also ranking Pennsylvania against the fifty states using the Current Employment Statistics (CES) data base, which is maintained by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

There are three measurements that depict the health of a state based on their level of growth in jobs. The first is job growth, which is measured by the number of jobs available. Pennsylvania ranks third among the 50 states based on its continuing increase of jobs from December 2009 to December 2010. A better measure of job growth is the percent change in jobs since this adjusts for the size of each state’s economy. Since December 1994, Pennsylvania has continually and steadily shown improvement relative to the other states. The last measure is the job growth compared to population growth, which is measured by the percent change in jobs minus the percent change in the working-age population. As the adult (16 and older) population continues to grow, the state needs job growth to maintain pace or else a job deficit will occur. Throughout the past years Pennsylvania has continued to average above the national average.

Overall, Pennsylvania has had incredible job performances, which prove the state’s policies are benefiting Pennsylvania families incredibly. Looking to the future, Pennsylvania should continue to build on this success.

This article can be read in its entirety at the Keystone Research Center's website.

Submitted by Abigail L. Miller, Research Assistant to Dr. Theodore Alter.