Top Performing Industries in Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania is known for many things. It has always been home to one of the United States’ leading steel producers. It is a major producer and exporter of anthracite coal.

Pennsylvania’s economic performance is mixed, but overall its workforce remains fairly competitive in manufacturing, agriculture and extraction, information technology, natural resources, and financial activities.

Understanding the weight of the sector in which you are working is key for strategic planning and hiring decisions. You do contact your local Pennsylvania chamber for additional information.

Here are the top-performing industries that you can learn more about:

  1. Educational Services

This industry sector is the same as “Education” in the list of the largest employers in Pennsylvania, but it only includes establishments whose primary business is educational services. This sector includes private and public elementary and secondary schools, institutions of higher education, and trade schools. In particular, Pennsylvania has a high rate of educational services because it hosts some major private institutions like the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center and Carnegie Mellon University.

  1. Health Care and Social Assistance

This sector entails providing social services, health care, and other types of personal care. It includes private, non-profit organizations as well as government organizations. Pennsylvania is also home to several Mayo Clinic locations—one in Pittsburgh, another in Erie, and a third in Hershey. The state has also invested heavily in education programs to serve the aging population.

  1. Manufacturing

Manufacturing is an industry that has experienced significant changes over the last few decades. With rapid changes in technology, manufacturing companies are facing the need to improve their management strategies. Many have started adopting methods that adopt lean manufacturing principles by eliminating throughput waste and increasing efficiency.

  1. Leisure and Hospitality

The leisure and hospitality industry sector are responsible for creating and distributing entertainment content—everything from movies to music to books. This sector also includes restaurants and bars, as well as motor hotels. In Pennsylvania, some major players are casinos located in Atlantic City.

  1. Mining

Mining is a thriving industry sector in Pennsylvania dependent on mining-related products (oil/natural gas, steelmaking coal). It is increasingly using modified drilling and extraction technologies to extract energy from below the surface.

  1. Oil and Gas Extraction

This is one of the top industry sectors identified by Manpower Group in its annual Talent Shortage Survey for Pennsylvania. This sector includes establishments involved in extracting oil, natural gas, coal, and other minerals. It also covers establishments that work with stone, sand, and gravel. This sector is a major economic driver in Pennsylvania.

  1. Information Technology

This sector includes establishments that provide computer systems design, and they create and maintain computer software and data communications networks, and other related products/services. This industry is one of the top five industry sectors expanding in Pennsylvania. The state has several technology-related educational institutions, including many private universities like Lehigh University and Penn State University, which have strong engineering, computer science, and information technology programs.

  1. Business Services

Important to note that this is the largest sector in Pennsylvania regarding employment, with many workers. This sector includes establishments that offer full-service professional and business services, such as accounting firms and consulting services. The state also has several law firms and accounting companies providing legal advice to companies and individuals.

  1. Professional and Scientific Services

It includes establishments that provide legal services, accountancy services, engineering and architectural services, scientific research & development, and related scientific & technical consulting services. This industry sector is quite large in Pennsylvania because of the state’s proximity to New York City.

  1. Transportation and Warehousing

This is an established industry sector in Pennsylvania. The sector provides transportation, warehousing, storage, and distribution of goods between the producer and the end-user or International borders. This sector also includes establishments that provide materials handling, trucking, freight forwarding, freight insurance, and related logistics services.

  1. Wholesale Trade

The sector involves the distribution of goods produced for sale to consumers. It includes establishments that produce goods for sale to businesses or consumers for sale in retail stores. It also includes establishments that produce goods for sale to businesses or consumers for resales, such as department stores and grocery stores. The sector relies heavily on retail trade.

  1. Construction

This is the second largest industry sector in Pennsylvania. It includes establishments that provide construction, installation, and repair of buildings, water and sewer facilities, bridges, and roads. Those who work here are known for their expertise in building projects, including residential housing and commercial buildings.

  1. Finance and Insurance

This industry sector involves the business of lending money and investing funds. It includes establishments that provide financial services and insurance products, such as banks, credit unions, securities brokerages, and mutual funds.

  1. Real Estate and Rental and Leasing

This sector includes real estate brokerage, rental, and leasing services. These establishments also include those that buy or sell ground rent or mortgages. The sector is a major source of income for many individuals and families in Pennsylvania.



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