Does Pennsylvania have a strong job market?

According to TALLBOX’s research Pennsylvania’s job market offers promising signs of recovery and growth, fueled by a diverse range of industries, in Q1 2024 the state has one of the lowest unemployment rates at 3.5% when compared with 22 other states like Tennessee 3.51%, Indiana 3.6%, Ohio 3.7%, Oregon 3.7%, Washington 4.2%, New York 4.5%, New Jersey 4.8% and others. With a desirable quality of life, thriving sectors like manufacturing, energy production, and medical technology, and a steadily declining unemployment rate, Pennsylvania presents attractive opportunities for job seekers from the neighboring states.

Another record is Pennsylvania’s total nonfarm jobs has reached a record high of 6,182,700 in December 2023, marking the 11th record high in that year. Employment increased in five of the 11 industry supersectors, with education & health services experiencing the largest gain.

Historically, the unemployment rate in Pennsylvania has averaged 6.34%, with the lowest rate of 4.2% recorded in the 2000s, indicating PA in 2024 has a strong and developing labor market, making it a good choice with variety of job opportunities.

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To analyze the jobs market in PA, TALLBOX leverages advanced data processing capabilities.

First, we collect vast amounts of job postings from various sources, including online job boards, company websites, and government databases.

Next, TALLBOX’s team usesd natural language processing (NLP) and machine learning algorithms to extract key information such as job titles, required skills, location, and salary ranges.

Finally, we merged everything in a structured data method and  analyzed to identify trends, in-demand skills, geographic hotspots, and potential future growth areas within Pennsylvania’s diverse job market.

TL;DR: Pennsylvania’s Top Job Opportunities in 2024

Advanced Manufacturing and Health care are two of the fastest-growing job sectors in PA. The healthcare sector significantly contributes to Pennsylvania’s economy, with hospitals, nursing, and residential care facilities being among the largest industries.

As a very safe state PA‘s social assistance is a significant contributor to employment growth in Pennsylvania in 2024 since the state is making concentrated investments and policy initiatives to market the state as an optimal retirement destination. With tax incentives around pension and retirement plan income along with campaigns touting Pennsylvania’s low cost of living, natural amenities, and access to top-rated healthcare facilities, the state is working to draw more retirees.

  • Industries such as trade, transportation, utilities, professional and business services, and financial services have seen employment levels recover to about or above pre-pandemic levels.
  • Construction and manufacturing are just below pre-pandemic employment levels, while government, leisure, and hospitality are lagging in job recovery.

Challenges and Opportunities

  • The labor force participation rate and employment-to-population ratio have been areas of concern, with some individuals dropping out of the labor force entirely.
  • Workforce development initiatives are crucial for addressing workforce shortages and training the next generation of workers in various sectors.
  • The state’s economic future depends on developing a skilled workforce capable of competing in the global economy.

Long-Term Projections

  • Long-term projections suggest continued employment growth in specific occupations, such as mental health counselors, with an 18% projected growth from 2022 to 2032
  • Exercise physiologists in Pennsylvania are also expected to see employment growth, according to projections

Economic Factors Influencing Employment

  • The state’s economy has been influenced by factors such as inflation, minimum wage policies, and the impact of the pandemic on various industries.
  • Pennsylvania’s economic performance has been generally positive in 2022, but it faces both short-term and long-term challenges, including the Federal Reserve’s reaction to inflation and structural changes in the labor market.

What are the fastest-growing industries in Pennsylvania?

Pennsylvania’s fastest-growing industries span from traditional sectors like healthcare and manufacturing to emerging fields like technology and renewable energy. The state’s strategic location, rich natural resources, and innovative spirit continue to foster growth and attract investment in these dynamic industries.

A group of women sitting at a table chatting about job positions with each other in Philly.
A group of women sitting at a table chatting about job positions with each other in Philly.

Healthcare and Social Assistance

The healthcare sector is a significant contributor to Pennsylvania’s economy, with hospitals, nursing, and residential care facilities being among the largest industries. The demand for healthcare services is expected to continue growing, partly due to an aging population.

  • UPMC (University of Pittsburgh Medical Center): A leading healthcare network with extensive hospitals and facilities throughout the state.
  • Penn Medicine: Renowned for its academic medical centers and research, with a strong Philadelphia presence.
  • Geisinger Health System: A major provider in central and northeastern Pennsylvania, known for its integrated care model.

Advanced Manufacturing

Advanced manufacturing is a pillar of Pennsylvania’s economy, leveraging cutting-edge technology to enhance products and processes. This industry is expected to grow through expanding research and development facilities, growing technical and industrial resources, and leading STEM innovators.

  • Boeing: A major aerospace manufacturer with facilities in the Philadelphia region.
  • Westinghouse: Specializes in nuclear energy technology and has a significant presence in Pennsylvania.
  • Carnegie Mellon University’s Advanced Manufacturing Research Institute: A hub for cutting-edge research and development.

Energy Production and Transition

Pennsylvania is known for its energy production, particularly in natural gas and fracking. The transition to more sustainable energy sources also presents growth opportunities within this sector.

  • Shell Appalachia: A major player in natural gas extraction and processing in western Pennsylvania.
  • Consol Energy: A leading coal producer with operations throughout the state.
  • Pennsylvania State University’s Energy Institute: Conducts research on energy sustainability and transitions.
The Philadelphia skyline at sunset.
The Philadelphia skyline at sunset.

Technology and Information Services

The information services industry, including software and hardware development, is expected to grow. Companies dealing with information technology are poised for expansion, reflecting broader trends in digitalization and data management.

  • Google: Has a growing presence in Pittsburgh, fostering the city’s tech ecosystem.
  • SEI Investments: A major financial technology company headquartered in Oaks, PA.
  • Comcast: Philadelphia-based media giant with significant technology and innovation divisions.

Professional and Business Services

This industry, particularly in areas like computer systems design and consulting, is expected to see considerable growth. The demand for professional expertise and business support services is on the rise.

  • Deloitte: A global consulting firm with a major presence in Philadelphia.
  • Vanguard: A leading investment management company headquartered in Malvern, PA.
  • The University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School: A renowned business school driving innovation and thought leadership.

Transportation and Warehousing

With the increase in online shopping, there is a growing need for warehousing and storage, making this one of the fastest-growing industries. The logistics sector is expanding to accommodate the surge in e-commerce.

  • UPS: Global logistics leader with extensive operations and facilities throughout the state.
  • Norfolk Southern Railway: A major freight railroad company with routes across Pennsylvania.
  • Amazon: Multiple fulfillment centers in Pennsylvania contribute to the warehousing boom.

Food Processing and Manufacturing

Pennsylvania’s food processing and manufacturing industry is a significant part of the state’s economy, with a strong presence of companies in this sector.

  • Hershey Foods: The iconic chocolate manufacturer headquartered in Hershey, PA, known for its global reach and beloved brands.
  • Turkey Hill: A leading producer of ice cream and beverages, with a strong Pennsylvania presence.
  • Campbell Soup Company: While headquartered in New Jersey, Campbell’s has significant manufacturing facilities in Pennsylvania.
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania skyline.
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania skyline.

Broadcasting and Telecommunications

The broadcasting and telecommunications sector is also among the state’s major industries, reflecting the importance of communication and media in today’s society.

  • Comcast: The Philadelphia-based media and technology giant plays a crucial role in Pennsylvania’s telecommunications infrastructure.
  • WPVI-TV (6abc Philadelphia): A major news and entertainment broadcaster serving the Philadelphia metropolitan area.
  • KYW Newsradio (Philadelphia): A long-standing and influential source of news and information within the region.

Corporate Headquarters

The presence of corporate headquarters in Pennsylvania contributes to economic growth, as these entities often drive job creation and business development within the state.

  • Comcast: Its Philadelphia headquarters serves as a hub for its global operations.
  • Rite Aid: The drugstore chain is headquartered in Camp Hill, PA, operating stores throughout the state and beyond.
  • PNC Financial Services: A major banking and financial institution headquartered in Pittsburgh.

Life Sciences and Biotechnology

The life sciences and biotechnology sector is growing, with Pennsylvania being home to numerous research facilities and pharmaceutical companies. This industry is expected to continue its upward trajectory.

  • GlaxoSmithKline (GSK): A global pharmaceutical giant with major research and manufacturing facilities in the Philadelphia area.
  • Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP): A top-ranked pediatric hospital known for its research breakthroughs and innovations in healthcare.
  • Wistar Institute: An independent biomedical research institute in Philadelphia, making significant contributions to vaccine development and cancer research.


With the rise of fracking, oil and gas extraction have become fast-growing industries in Pennsylvania, contributing to the state’s economic development.

  • Consol Energy: One of the largest coal producers in the country, with operations throughout Pennsylvania.
  • EQT Corporation: A leading natural gas producer with a significant presence in the Appalachian Basin, including Pennsylvania.
  • Pennsylvania Coal Alliance: An industry association representing coal interests within the state, advocating for policies and regulations.

Real Estate and Rental and Leasing

This sector remains a cornerstone of Pennsylvania’s economy, with contributions to GDP, job creation, and economic development.

  • Liberty Property Trust: A major developer and owner of industrial and commercial real estate, with a strong presence in Pennsylvania.
  • CBRE: A global commercial real estate services firm with offices throughout Pennsylvania, providing brokerage, property management, and investment services.
  • Pennsylvania Association of Realtors: An organization representing real estate professionals in the state, providing resources and advocating for the industry.

Emerging Sectors

Pennsylvania’s economic landscape is continuously evolving, with new industries such as robotics, AI, and advanced manufacturing emerging as significant contributors to economic dynamism.

Robotics & Automation: Pennsylvania is home to world-renowned robotics research institutions and a growing cluster of robotics companies.

  • Carnegie Mellon University’s National Robotics Engineering Center (NREC): A pioneer in robotics research, NREC drives innovation and commercialization of robotics technologies.
  • RE2 Robotics: Develops intelligent mobile manipulation systems used in a variety of industries, headquartered in Pittsburgh.
  • Seegrid: A leader in autonomous mobile robots for material handling in manufacturing and warehousing, based in Pittsburgh.

Artificial Intelligence (AI): Pennsylvania universities and startups are pushing the boundaries of AI research and applications.

  • University of Pennsylvania’s GRASP Lab: Conducts cutting-edge research in robotics, AI, and machine learning.
  • CMU’s AI Research Initiative: Brings together top faculty and students to advance AI across various fields.
  • Petuum: An AI software platform for enterprise-scale AI development, founded in Pittsburgh.

Advanced Manufacturing (Beyond Traditional): Pennsylvania’s strong manufacturing base is evolving to include additive manufacturing (3D printing), nanotechnology, and advanced materials.

  • The Manufacturing PA Initiative: A statewide partnership focused on innovation and workforce development in advanced manufacturing.
  • Penn State’s Center for Nanotechnology Education and Utilization: Facilitates research and commercialization of nanotechnology applications.
  • Catalyst Connection: Helps small and mid-sized manufacturers adopt advanced technologies and processes.

Major Economic Hubs ins PA

These cities generally anchor strong regional economies:

Philadelphia: Diverse economy with strengths in life sciences, healthcare, finance, higher education.

Pittsburgh: Tech hub, healthcare, robotics, advanced manufacturing, and energy.

Allentown/Bethlehem/Easton (Lehigh Valley): Manufacturing, logistics, healthcare.

Harrisburg: State capital, government, and healthcare are significant sectors.

Lancaster: Agriculture, manufacturing, and tourism.

Erie: Manufacturing, healthcare, and tourism (Lake Erie).

Reading: Manufacturing, healthcare, logistics.

State College: Dominated by Penn State University, research and education-related industries.

What are the most in-demand jobs in Pennsylvania?

In Pennsylvania HPOs (High Priority Occupations) is the fastest growing job sector with strong demand and good wages with projected growth of 22.6%  from 2020 to 2030.

Pennsylvania’s diverse job market offers opportunities across various in-demand sectors:

  • Healthcare: Demand is high for home health aides, medical assistants, pharmacists, and medical equipment technicians due to an aging population.
  • Technology: IT specialists and computer systems managers are crucial with digitalization on the rise.
  • Skilled Trades: Industrial truck operators, HVAC technicians, and other skilled tradespeople remain in demand.
  • Hospitality & Leisure: Culinary chefs, amusement attendants, and housekeepers support Pennsylvania’s thriving tourism industry.
  • Business & Finance: Compliance officers and project management specialists support business efficiency.

Other Notable Professions:

  • Cosmetology and massage therapy reflect growing wellness and beauty sectors.
  • Interpreters and translators are increasingly important with Pennsylvania’s diverse population.

What jobs are not in-demand or declining in Pennsylvania?

To determine which jobs are not in demand or declining in Pennsylvania, we must compare growing industry and occupational outlooks to those that are stagnating or expect employment decreases.

While sectors like healthcare, professional services, and natural gas continue adding jobs, opportunities in manufacturing, call centers, and administrative roles face declines as automation and AI takeover certain tasks.

Specifically, assembly line workers, telemarketers, secretaries, and data entry clerks are projected to see fewer openings, though skilled trade careers maintain decent demand.

Other declining Pennsylvania jobs include postal service workers, as mail volumes decrease nationwide, and agricultural helpers as consolidated commercial farms require less labor.

Newspaper publishing sheds more positions from an already battered sector as readers move online. Most Pennsylvania employment contraction concentrates in automatable routine jobs or industry shifts as consumer behavior changes, contrasting growth in skilled services, energy, and an expanding digital economic footprint attracting software developers and IT talent.

10 Cities in Pennsylvania with Growing Job Opportunities


The city stands out for its crucial role in healthcare and dedication to patient well-being. Prestigious medical institutions like the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) offer nurses learning. These experiences are guided by esteemed physicians, enriching their professional growth and expertise.

Philadelphia is home to prestigious nursing schools. These are La Salle University and the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing. These institutions provide excellent opportunities for registered nurses to further their careers. This medical hub has abundant opportunities for professional development and achieving excellence.

  • Healthcare: Registered Nurse ($65,000 – $90,000), Clinical Research Coordinator ($55,000 -$80,000), Medical Assistant ($32,000 – $45,000) at institutions like the University of Pennsylvania Health System and Thomas Jefferson University Hospital.
  • Education: Special Education Teacher ($50,000 – $75,000), High School Math Teacher ($55,000 -$80,000) within the School District of Philadelphia, offering opportunities to shape the next generation.
  • Technology: Software Developer ($70,000 – $110,000), Data Analyst ($60,000 – $90,000) at companies like Comcast and Vanguard, driving innovation in the city’s tech sector.


Pittsburgh is a hub for nursing and sales careers. Nursing positions are in high demand due to the concentration of healthcare facilities. Sales professionals in Pittsburgh can earn up to $70,000. Renowned publications like Inc. and Forbes have recognized Pittsburgh as a prime business and career growth location.

  • Robotics: Robotics Engineer ($80,000 -$120,000), AI Researcher ($90,000 -$150,000) at cutting-edge institutions like Carnegie Mellon University’s National Robotics Engineering Center (NREC).
  • Healthcare: Nurse Practitioner ($85,000 -$115,000), Physical Therapist ($75,000 – $100,000) within the extensive UPMC (University of Pittsburgh Medical Center) network.
  • Finance: Financial Analyst ($60,000 – $90,000), Accountant ($55,000 – $80,000) at companies like PNC Financial Services and BNY Mellon.


York, Pennsylvania, is a smaller job hub but offers industrial opportunities. The area thrives with manufacturing jobs, supporting its economy. The firm with the most employment in York is BAE Systems. It’s a British aerospace defense company that builds military armored vehicles. It employs over a thousand—1,500—York people.

Based in York, Johnson Controls Company is one of the largest HVAC suppliers in the United States. The corporation is a significant employer in the manufacturing industry. It requires experts in engineering and technology for operations.

  • Manufacturing: Production Supervisor ($50,000 -$75,000), Industrial Engineer ($65,000 – $95,000), Quality Control Technician ($40,000 – $60,000) at major employers like BAE Systems and Johnson Controls.
  • Logistics: Warehouse Manager ($55,000 – $85,000), Truck Driver ($45,000 – $70,000), Supply Chain Analyst ($60,000 – $90,000) supporting the region’s distribution and transportation networks.


Being one of Pennsylvania’s biggest metropolises, Allentown is home to several enterprises. Still, the area’s oil and gas industry is the most common. MONITOR PUBLISHING INC. focuses on American cities renowned for oil and gas employment. Some offer annual salaries exceeding $100,000. Petrophysicists, reservoir engineers, and drilling engineers fall under this category.

Specialized workers like petroleum and landman technicians earn over $55,000 on average. Employees in Allentown earn at least $79,023, exceeding the national average. This equates to approximately $40 per hour for a standard 40-hour workweek.

  • Healthcare: Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) ($30,000 – $40,000), Medical Laboratory Technician ($45,000 – $65,000), Pharmacy Technician ($35,000 – $50,000) at major providers like Lehigh Valley Health Network and St. Luke’s University Health Network.
  • Manufacturing: Welder ($40,000 – $60,000), Production Operator ($35,000 – $50,000), Machinist ($50,000 – $75,000) at companies like Mack Trucks and Air Products.
  • Logistics: Warehouse Associate ($30,000-$45,000), Inventory Control Specialist ($45,000 – $65,000), Logistics Coordinator ($50,000 – $70,000) supporting the region’s thriving e-commerce and distribution centers.


Harrisburg is a popular choice among job seekers in the technology sector. The typical yearly income for engineers in this area is $70,000. Harrisburg’s computer jobs are sought-after due to their average salary of $69,980. It makes it an attractive career option.

Given the prominence of technology in the city, these jobs will remain sought after. CyberCoders is recruiting professionals for various IT roles. This includes cloud engineers, system analysts, and Java developers. Allentown and the surrounding region boast a significant concentration of technological companies.

  • Government: Legislative Analyst ($50,000 – $70,000), Policy Advisor ($60,000 – $90,000), Communications Specialist ($45,000 – $65,000) serving Pennsylvania’s state government.
  • Technology: Software Engineer ($75,000 – $110,000), Data Scientist ($80,000 – $120,000), IT Support Specialist ($45,000 – $65,000) with opportunities at both established companies and growing startups.
  • Healthcare: Registered Nurse ($65,000 – $90,000), Physical Therapist ($75,000 – $100,000) within major hospital systems like Penn State Health.


There are a lot of work options in Phoenixville, and also for its pleasant environment. Many different types of enterprises have set up shop in the city. This is because of its convenient location and lively downtown.

Tech and hospitality are fields where skilled workers may earn above-average wages. A yearly income of around $55,000 is typical. Phoenixville is an excellent spot since it combines the best of both worlds. These are welcoming neighborhoods and plenty of career advancement opportunities.

  • Manufacturing: CNC Machinist ($50,000 – $75,000), Quality Assurance Inspector ($45,000 – $65,000), Production Supervisor ($55,000 – $80,000) in the area’s diverse manufacturing base.
  • E-commerce & Retail: Warehouse Supervisor ($50,000 – $70,000), Customer Service Representative ($35,000 -$55,000), E-commerce Specialist ($50,000 – $75,000) supporting the growth of online retail and fulfillment centers.


Plum boasts a strong job market due to its thriving manufacturing sector. Salaries average around $60,000 per year. Engineers, construction professionals, and advanced manufacturers have many employment opportunities here. 

  • Manufacturing Technician: Emphasize precision machining, robotics, automation skills in demand at Plum’s manufacturers. Highlight opportunities for training and career advancement in advanced manufacturing.
  • Skilled Tradesperson: Focus on electricians, welders, HVAC technicians, and plumbers needed in both residential and industrial settings. Underscore the strong earning potential and demand for these trades.
  • Project Engineer: Highlight roles in construction, manufacturing, and infrastructure projects. Emphasize experience in project management, technical skills, and the ability to thrive in Plum’s expanding development environment.


Carlisle has a rich historical background and natural surroundings. Carlisle is poised to become a hub of job opportunities in 2024. Salaries in the city average around $58,000 per year.

It provides a range of employment opportunities due to its diverse economy. Professionals from various industries, including manufacturing, healthcare, and education. They are drawn to Carlisle, where they can pursue fulfilling careers. 

  • Healthcare Professional: Given Carlisle’s history with healthcare facilities, emphasize roles beyond nurses and doctors. Include medical technicians, therapists, and administrative support for various healthcare settings.
  • Educator: Carlisle’s mix of public schools, private institutions, and Dickinson College creates demand for educators at all levels. Highlight opportunities in early childhood education and STEM fields.
  • Logistics Specialist: Focus on supply chain management, inventory control, and transportation coordination. Carlisle’s position as a distribution hub makes these roles valuable.


Lansdale is a center of potential that is located in Montgomery County. Lansdale’s strong healthcare sector with growing tech scene drive. It pays an average of $62,000. This town has a lot of job opportunities for professionals looking for new careers.

  • Healthcare Administrator: Emphasize roles managing clinics, physician practices, and long-term care facilities. Highlight the need for strong organizational and interpersonal skills.
  • Pharmaceutical Sales Representative: Focus on established pharma companies with offices near Lansdale. Emphasize the need for strong scientific knowledge, communication, and sales acumen.
  • Software Developer: Capitalize on Lansdale’s growing tech presence. Highlight roles developing healthcare-related software, business solutions, and web applications.


From its location on the shores of Lake Erie, Erie is a symbol of strength and rebirth. It offers many work possibilities. With an average pay of about $54,000 per year, Erie’s economy is varied. It includes industry, healthcare, and leisure, giving people a lot of job choices. Skilled workers can expect competitive pay and room to grow.

  • Manufacturing Engineer: Focus on process optimization, quality control, and production planning skills needed in Erie’s manufacturing industries. Link to specific sectors like plastics, metalworking, or medical equipment.
  • Logistics Coordinator: Erie’s position as a transportation hub creates demand. Highlight roles involving freight shipping, warehousing, and supply chain optimization.
  • Tourism & Hospitality Professional: Focus on managing hotels, restaurants, and attractions catering to tourists visiting Lake Erie. Underline the need for strong customer service and event planning skills.

How to find jobs in PA?

General Job Boards

  • Jooble: A powerful job search engine that aggregates listings from multiple sources, increasing your chances of finding the right jobs in Pennsylvania on Jooble.
  • PA CareerLink®: The state’s official job board with extensive listings, career resources, and training opportunities – link.
  • Indeed: One of the largest job aggregators, with a wide range of Pennsylvania-specific postings – link
  • LinkedIn Jobs:  Tap into your professional network and discover opportunities aligned with your interests – link
  • Monster: Another popular job aggregator, featuring a variety of filters to refine your search – link

Industry-specific Job Boards

  • Dice: ( Popular for tech-related positions in software development, engineering, IT, etc.
  • Mediabistro: ( Focuses on media, journalism, and creative fields.
  • Idealist: ( Features opportunities in the non-profit sector, social impact, and mission-driven organizations.
  • Specific Industry Websites: Check industry associations or professional organizations for job boards within your target field.

Government and Public Sector Jobs

  • USAJOBS: ( Portal for federal government job listings, including opportunities with agencies located in Pennsylvania.
  • State Government Jobs: Visit the official Pennsylvania employment website ( for state-level positions.
  • Local Government Websites: Check individual city and county websites for job openings in municipal services, education, etc.

Additional Resources

  • Networking: Attend industry events, job fairs, and connect with professionals in your field both in-person and through online platforms (LinkedIn, professional associations).
  • Temporary Agencies: Temp agencies can place you in both short-term and temp-to-hire positions, potentially leading to permanent employment.
  • College & University Career Centers: Utilize the resources and job boards offered by your alma mater or local institutions.
  • Outplacement Services: If you’ve been recently laid off, check if your previous employer offers outplacement assistance with resume support and job search strategies.

Tips for Success

  • Customize Your Resume and Cover Letter: Tailor your application materials to each specific job, highlighting relevant skills and keywords.
  • Utilize Search Filters: Use filters on job boards to narrow down results by location, industry, experience level, and job type (full-time, part-time, contract, etc.)
  • Set Job Alerts: Get notified of new listings matching your criteria, so you can apply promptly.
  • Practice Interviewing: Prepare for common interview questions and research potential employers in advance.


All the cities on the list offer various job opportunities in many industries. All the places that made the list are renowned for their constant demand for professions. Places like Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, and Erie have many jobs in the education industry. These cities boast many educational opportunities, from large public school districts to private schools and higher learning institutions.