Pennsylvania Q1, 2019 Employment Statistics

  • 359,860 employers, up 1.4% from 354,819
  • 5,829,461 employees, up 1.2% from 5,763,314
  • $1,146 average weekly wage, up 2.8% from $1,115
  • The average weekly wage is 3.2% below the national average
  • The cost of living is 1.4% below the national average

Employer & Employee Growth

In the last year, the number of employers in the state increased by 5,041, which is an increase of 1.4%. The number of employees in Pennsylvania increased by 66,148, an increase of 1.2%. During this same period, the average weekly wage increased by $31, an increase of 2.8%.

The number of private employers increased since last years' Q1. The number of private businesses increased by 4,994 or 1.5%. Growth in private businesses in Pennsylvania grew slower than the national average of 3.0%. The number of employees in these businesses increased since last years' Q1, increasing by 65,926 or 1.3%. The growth in employees of private businesses in Pennsylvania was slower than the national average of 1.7%.

The average weekly wage of employees of private businesses increased since last years' Q1. The averge weekly wage increased by $33 or 3.0%. Growth in average weekly wage of employees of private businesses in Pennsylvania grew slower than the national average of 3.0%.


Leading Sectors

Businesses by Sector

The sector with the greatest number of businesses in the state is Healthcare with 14.8% of the businesses in the state. The number of businesses in this sector declined by 0.9%. Professional services (11.7%), which increased by 3.4% and Retail trade (11.4%), which decreased by 0.5%, round out the 3 largest sectors.

Table: Sectors by Year-over-Year Qtly Business Change %
SectorChange Biz% Change
Information3647.6%
Company management2565.7%
Transport and warehousing4504.9%
Real estate and rental4574.4%
Arts and entertainment2214.4%
Professional services1,3943.4%
Educational services1413.1%
Agriculture and forestry572.5%
Construction5682.0%
Waste services3131.8%
Finance and insurance3261.8%
Wholesale trade4321.8%
Other services5261.6%
Accommodation and food services1650.6%
Manufacturing520.4%
Mining and oil extraction-3-0.2%
Retail trade-212-0.5%
Healthcare-496-0.9%
Utilities-17-2.6%


Employees by Sector

The sector with the greatest number of employees in the state is Healthcare with 17.8% of the employees in the state, had an increase in employees of 2.3% in the last year. Retail trade (10.4%), decreased by 1.5% and Manufacturing (9.8%), increased by 1.9%, round out the top 3 sectors.

Table: Sectors by Year-over-Year Qtly Employee Change %
SectorEmployee Change% Change
Mining and oil extraction1,6486.2%
Transport and warehousing10,6104.2%
Arts and entertainment2,2952.8%
Construction6,1062.6%
Healthcare23,7572.3%
Manufacturing10,4421.9%
Finance and insurance4,4961.7%
Professional services5,6211.6%
Waste services3,5751.2%
Other services2,0871.1%
Real estate and rental6321.0%
Information6710.8%
Educational services1,2760.7%
Accommodation and food services2,5200.5%
Wholesale trade1,0740.5%
Agriculture and forestry-84-0.4%
Company management-901-0.6%
Retail trade-9,219-1.5%
Utilities-678-2.8%


Average Weekly Wage by Sector

The sector that pays their employees the highest is Company management paying $3,210per week compared with the state average of $1,151. Weekly wages in this sector rose by $56 or 1.8%. Utilities ($2,841), declined by $75 or 2.6% and Finance and insurance ($2,341) increased by $11 or 0.5% round out the 3 largest sectors.

Table: Sectors by Year-over-Year Weekly Wage Change %
SectorWage ChangeChange %
Information$21110.9%
Professional services$975.2%
Mining and oil extraction$834.7%
Real estate and rental$584.3%
Waste services$294.2%
Retail trade$183.3%
Accommodation and food services$113.2%
Manufacturing$393.1%
Other services$203.1%
Healthcare$252.7%
Wholesale trade$402.4%
Educational services$252.3%
Agriculture and forestry$142.0%
Company management$561.8%
Transport and warehousing$151.7%
Construction$70.6%
Finance and insurance$110.5%
Utilities$-75-2.6%
Arts and entertainment$-19-2.8%


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 21,683 employing 350,908 workers). The Restaurants and other eating places industry had 385 more businesses, an increase of 1.8% in the last year. Services for the elderly and disabled (4.9% of businesses) had 850 fewer businesses, a decline of 4.6% and Wholesale trade agents and brokers (3.5% of businesses) added 536 businesses, an increase of 4.5% round out the 3 industries with the most businesses.

Table: Top 7 Industries by Business Change %
IndustryBusiness Chg% Change
Distilleries1754.8%
Software publishers23138.0%
Casinos except casino hotels333.3%
Breweries3224.8%
Apiculture222.2%
Other publishers920.5%
Political organizations2320.2%


Table: Top 7 Industries by Business Change #
IndustryBusiness Chg% Change
Wholesale trade agents and brokers5364.5%
Computer systems design and related services4595.2%
Restaurants and other eating places3851.8%
Management consulting services2664.3%
Management of companies and enterprises2565.7%
All other professional and technical services23310.9%
Software publishers23138.0%


Employees by Industry

Services for the elderly and disabled (4.9% of employees) had 850 fewer employees, a decline of 4.6% and Wholesale trade agents and brokers (3.5% ofemployees) added 536 employees, an increase of 4.5% round out the 3 industries with the most employees.

Table: Top 7 Industries by Employee Change %
IndustryEmp Chg% Change
Record production and distribution5470.5%
Sales financing93662.6%
Accessories and other apparel manufacturing27158.0%
Clothing accessories stores57453.4%
Local messengers and local delivery1,05148.9%
All other crop farming7944.6%
Commodity contracts brokerage1138.4%


Table: Top 7 Industries by Employee Change #
IndustryEmp Chg% Change
Services for the elderly and disabled12,83612.0%
Restaurants and other eating places4,3511.3%
Couriers and express delivery services3,60312.9%
General warehousing and storage3,5144.4%
Research and development in the physical engineering and life sciences3,40610.0%
Home health care services3,3715.3%
Offices of physicians2,5432.2%


Average Weekly Wage by Industry

Services for the elderly and disabled ($5) and Wholesale trade agents and brokers ($3) round out the top 3 industries. Employees in the Services for the elderly and disabled ($5 per week) were paid $850 less per week, a decline of 4.6% and Wholesale trade agents and brokers ($3 per week) were paid $536 more per week, an increase of 4.5% round out the 3 industries that pay their employees the most.

Table: Top 7 Industries by Wage Change %
IndustryWkly Chg% Change
Document preparation services$1,526238.4%
Lessors of other real estate property$1,16665.8%
News syndicates$64446.9%
Motion picture and video distribution$66641.3%
Record production and distribution$17040.6%
Nonscheduled air transportation$48935.1%
Luggage and leather goods stores$23934.3%


Table: Top 7 Industries by Wage Change $
IndustryWkly Chg% Change
Document preparation services$1,526238.4%
Lessors of other real estate property$1,16665.8%
Pipeline transportation of natural gas$79034.0%
Motion picture and video distribution$66641.3%
News syndicates$64446.9%
Advertising material distribution services$63133.5%
Investment banking and securities dealing$6207.7%


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 328,394 small businesses in the state represent 94.8% of all private businesses. The national average is 92.9%. (Small businesses have fewer than 50 employees, Solopreneurs employ fewer than 5.) Pennsylvania added 4,994 businesses in the last year, an increase of 1.5% as compared to the national average of 3.0%.

Small businesses are defined as companies with fewer than 50 employees. These small businesses added 4,676 businesses in the last year, which is an increase of 1.4% as compared to the national average of 3.1%.

Mid-sized businesses are defined as companies with between 50 and 499 employees. These mid-sized businesses added 320 businesses in the last year, which is an increase of 1.9% as compared to the national average of 1.3%.

Large businesses are defined as companies with more than 500 employees. These large businesses declined 2 businesses in the last year, which is a decrease of 0.3% as compared to the national average of 2.1%.



Pennsylvania Employees by Business Size

Pennsylvania added 197,777 employees in the last year, an increase of 4.0% as compared to the national average of 5.2%. Small businesses are defined as companies with fewer than 50 employees. These small businesses added 24,673 businesses in the last year, which is an increase of 8.1% as compared to the national average of 4.2%.

Mid-sized businesses are defined as companies with between 50 and 499 employees. Mid-sized businesses added 128,573 employees in the last year, which is an increase of 6.7% as compared to the national average of 4.7%.

Large businesses are defined as companies with more than 500 employees. Large businesses added 44,531 employees in the last year, which is an increase of 5.3% as compared to the national average of 9.2%.

Pennsylvania Avg Weekly Wages by Business Size

The smallest companies in Pennsylvania (those with fewer than 5 employees) pay workers 0.2% less than the national average ($1,003 per week as compared to the national average of $1,005 per week). The largest companies in Pennsylvania (those with more than 1,000 employees) pay 11.6% workers below the national average ($1,714 per week as compared to the national average of $1,913 per week).

Average weekly wages in small businesses added $92 per week in the last year, which is an increase of 2.5% as compared to the national average of 3.1%. Employees of mid-sized businesses added $102 in wages per week in the last year, which is an increase of 3.0% as compared to the national average of 1.3%.

Employees of large businesses added $97 of weekly wages in the last year, which is an increase of 3.1% as compared to the national average of 2.1%.



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.