Pennsylvania Employment Statistics

  • 356,592 employers
  • 5,867,276 employees
  • $1,070 average weekly wage
  • The average weekly wage is 2.8% below the national average
  • The cost of living is 1.4% below the national average

Types of Employers (Private Sector vs Government Agency)

As an employer in Pennsylvania, you are most likely to be running a private company rather than a government agency. 96.3% of employers run private companies in the state, 0.7% less than the national average of 97.0. The remaining 3.7% of employers are government agencies: 0.8% work in a federal agency, 0.4% work for the state and 2.6% work for local government. The chart below illustrates the breakout of employers by type.
88.5% of employees work for a private company, this is 3.3% greater than the national average of 85.2%. Local government agencies employ 7.6% of the workers in the state, state government agencies employ 2.2% of the workers and the federal government employs 1.7%. The percentage of employees working for a government agency (11.5%) is 3.3% lower than the national average. The chart below illustrates the breakout of employees by type of employer.
The average weekly wage in Pennsylvania is $1,070 per week, which is 2.8% greater than the national average of $1,101 per week. Pennsylvania workers that are employed by private businesses earn $1,063 per week, 3.4% lower than the national average for private company employees. Employees of federal government agencies in Pennsylvania earn $1,480 per week, a premium of 39.2% compared to what employees of private companies earn. The chart below illustrates the average weekly by type of employer.


Leading Sectors

Businesses by Sector

The sector with the greatest number of businesses in the state is Healthcare with 14.9% of the businesses in the state. Retail trade (11.6%) and Professional services (11.5%) round out the top 3 sectors.
Table: Sectors by # of Businesses
Sector# Businesses% of Bus.
Healthcare53,20314.9%
Retail trade41,27311.6%
Professional services41,14911.5%
Other services32,5969.1%
Construction28,8528.1%
Accommodation and food services28,4028.0%
Wholesale trade23,6236.6%
Finance and insurance18,2365.1%
Waste services17,9505.0%
Manufacturing14,4234.0%
Real estate and rental10,6483.0%
Transport and warehousing9,4192.6%
Arts and entertainment5,1291.4%
Information4,9091.4%
Educational services4,6281.3%
Company management4,5751.3%
Agriculture and forestry2,2940.6%
Mining and oil extraction1,3000.4%
Utilities6700.2%


Employees by Sector

The sector with the greatest number of employees in the state is Healthcare with 17.5% of the employees in the state. Retail trade (10.6%) and Manufacturing (9.7%) round out the top 3 sectors.
Table: Sectors by # of Employees
Sector# Employees% of Emp'
Healthcare1,026,48117.5%
Retail trade619,48610.6%
Manufacturing569,7879.7%
Accommodation and food services473,7428.1%
Professional services354,9956.1%
Waste services314,7165.4%
Finance and insurance260,2654.4%
Transport and warehousing256,5434.4%
Construction255,7294.4%
Wholesale trade217,3713.7%
Other services199,7853.4%
Educational services182,7433.1%
Company management136,8382.3%
Arts and entertainment97,9431.7%
Information85,9571.5%
Real estate and rental64,8661.1%
Mining and oil extraction27,9570.5%
Agriculture and forestry24,5570.4%
Utilities23,7070.4%


Average Weekly Wage by Sector

The sector that pays their employees the highest is Company management paying $2,487per week compared with the state average of $1,063. Utilities ($2,292) and Finance and insurance ($1,841) round out the top 3 sectors.
Table: Wages by Sector
SectorWkly Wagevs St Avg.
Company management$2,487234.0%
Utilities$2,292215.6%
Finance and insurance$1,841173.2%
Professional services$1,827171.9%
Information$1,675157.6%
Mining and oil extraction$1,663156.4%
Wholesale trade$1,540144.9%
Construction$1,286121.0%
Manufacturing$1,203113.2%
Real estate and rental$1,173110.3%
Educational services$1,144107.6%
Healthcare$97091.3%
Transport and warehousing$89984.6%
Waste services$70666.4%
Agriculture and forestry$69565.4%
Other services$65361.4%
Arts and entertainment$62658.9%
Retail trade$56052.7%
Accommodation and food services$36033.9%


Leading Industries

Businesses by Industry

Each broad sector is made up of specific industries. In Pennsylvania. the industry with the most businesses is Restaurants and other eating places with 6.0% of the businesses in the state (with 21,393 employing 355,702 workers). Services for the elderly and disabled (5.0%) and Wholesale trade agents and brokers (3.4%) round out the top 3 industries. The Top 10 Industries in the state are:
Industry# BusinessesEmp/Biz
Restaurants and other eating places21,39316.6
Services for the elderly and disabled17,7826.3
Wholesale trade agents and brokers12,1433.6
Computer systems design and related services9,0607.8
Offices of physicians7,73215.2
Residential building construction7,3623.9
Hair nail and skin care services6,2855.5
Management consulting services6,2716.6
Offices of lawyers5,7347.7
Insurance agencies and brokerages4,9925.7


Employees by Industry

The industry with the greatest number of employees in the state is Restaurants and other eating places with 6.1% of the businesses in the state. The industry employs 355,702 in 21,393 businesses, there are 16.6 employees on average in each of these businesses. General medical and surgical hospitals (4.1%) and Management of companies and enterprises (2.3%) round out the top 3 industries.
Table: Industries by # of Employees
Industry# EmpEmp/Biz
Restaurants and other eating places355,70216.6
General medical and surgical hospitals240,7311,069.9
Management of companies and enterprises136,83829.9
Offices of physicians117,85915.2
Colleges and universities116,044342.3
Supermarkets and other grocery stores114,17946.1
Temporary help services113,49246.6
Services for the elderly and disabled111,6186.3
General warehousing and storage81,531105.1
Nursing care facilities skilled nursing72,742112.1


Average Weekly Wage by Industry

The industry that pays their employees the most is Miscellaneous intermediation, paying $4,118 compared with the state average of $1,063. Investment banking and securities dealing ($4,117) and Securities brokerage ($3,788) round out the top 3 industries.
Table: Wages by Industry
IndustryWkly Wage% of Avg
Miscellaneous intermediation$4,118387.4
Investment banking and securities dealing$4,117387.3
Securities brokerage$3,788356.3
Reinsurance carriers$3,670345.2
Securities and commodity exchanges$3,497329.0
Spectator sports$3,002282.4
Portfolio management$2,983280.6
Internet publishing and web search portals$2,962278.6
Investment advice$2,798263.2
Electric power generation$2,776261.1


Company Size

Pennsylvania Businesses by Size

The solopreneur company, has the most businesses in Pennsylvania by far. 56.2% of all businesses in the state have fewer than 5 employees. The 326,992 small businesses in the state represent 94.8% of all private businesses. The national average is 92.6%. (Small businesses have fewer than 50 employees, Solopreneurs employ fewer than 5.) The pie chart below illustrates the ratio of business sizes.

Pennsylvania Employees by Business Size

The largest companies in the state represent 154.0% of all employees, which is 15.6% higher than the national average of 138.4%. Interestingly, the smallest companies in the state employ a higher percentage than the largest companies, this is not typical. The solopreneur (those that employ fewer than 5) companies employ 94.7% of all workers, which is 3.2% higher than the national average of 91.5%. All small companies, those employing fewer than 50 people, represent 636.1% of the labor force in the state, 86.1% more than the national average of 550.0%.

Pennsylvania Avg Weekly Wages by Business Size

The smallest companies in Pennsylvania (those with fewer than 5 employees) pay workers 0.5% more than the national average ($980 per week as compared to the national average of $975 per week). The largest companies in Pennsylvania (those with more than 1,000 employees) pay 13.2% workers below the national average ($1,663 per week as compared to the national average of $1,882 per week).



Data Sources




About the Writer

This page was created and is maintained by Kurt Tietjen, Founder of Stavera, High Peak Media & HomeGearWorks.com. Kurt is an executive, data scientist and software engineer who holds an MBA in Management Information Systems. In 2010, he partnered with scientists at Northwestern University to launch The Street Wire. This was one of the first mainstream uses of what would become “Narrative Science”, an artificial intelligence platform specializing in natural language generation. You can contact Kurt on LinkedIn here.