Jobs In Pa. Manufacturing Still Declining

Harrisburg, Pa. --- Employment in Pennsylvania's manufacturing sector is continuing to shrink.

The Pennsylvania State Data Center at Penn State Harrisburg reports that between 1980 and 1990, the Commonwealth saw a 23.5 percent decline in persons employed in manufacturing, far outpacing the 6.6 percent drop nationwide. The Data Center also reports other Pennsylvania areas showing employment declines in the decade include agriculture at 5.1 percent and public administration at 4.1 percent.

On the positive side, construction jobs rose 37.9 percent, employment in the financial sector jumped 36.9 percent, and professional services slots increased 32.6 percent. Both national and state employment trends indicate a shift from a manufacturing to a service-based economy.

In 1980, manufacturing had the largest employment of all industry sectors, but by 1990, professional services had taken the lead. U.S. Census figures from 1990 show that the professional services industry constituted virtually one-quarter of both U.S. and Pennsylvania employment. With nearly 20 percent of its employed persons in manufacturing and 17 percent in retail trade, the Commonwealth's larger employment sectors mirror the nation's.

Since 1990, many past Pennsylvania employment trends have continued. Manufacturing persists its downward spiral, losing 43,216 jobs from 1991 to 1995. Other industries decreasing in employment include construction (5,683 jobs), mining (5,544) and wholesale trade (2,347).

Large employment gains have occurred in the various sectors of the service industry. The boom in the health care industry is reflected in the Commonwealth's increase of 40,268 jobs in the health services sector from 1991 to 1995. The business and social service sectors also saw sizable employment gains of 36,428 and 20,000 jobs, respectively.

The Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry's outlook for industrial growth reveals no surprises. From 1990, service-producing jobs, including retail trade, finance, insurance and government, will add 1.2 million jobs to the state's economy by the year 2000.

Coinciding with the state's aging population, health services is projected to be the industry with the largest job gain, adding 148,900 slots. Business services, with 59,800, and social services with 43,800, take second and third positions among industries with the greatest projected job gains. On the downside, goods-producing industries such as manufacturing, construction, and mining are projected to decline during the current decade with this sector to experience an estimated loss of 437,000 jobs.

At the top of the list is the apparel/textile projects industry which is expected to suffer the loss of 30,900 jobs by 20000. Industrial machinery industries, with an anticipated loss of 18,800 jobs, and primary metal industries, at 16,700, are also high on the list.

The state-sponsored Pennsylvania State Data Center is the Commonwealth's official source of population and economic statistics and services. It is based at Penn State Harrisburg's Institute of State and Regional Affairs in its School of Public Affairs.

Sources of information are 1990 U.S. Census "Pennsylvania Industry Trends," the Pennsylvania State Data Center "Pennsylvania Workforce 2000," and Pa. Department of Labor and Industry


EDITORS: Eric Keptner of the Pa. State Data Center is at (717) 772-2710.

Steven Hevner 717-948-6029 (office) (email)