Midstate's economy is in good shape, says expert

Written by Ben Allen, General Assignment Reporter | Jan 19, 2016 4:21 AM

(Harrisburg) -- On Wall Street, 2016 has been depressing so far. But one expert says the midstate's economy is in good shape.

Kurt Rankin with PNC Financial Services says the unemployment rate, job growth, and wage growth are all healthy in Central Pennsylvania.

And he's expecting the housing market will really hit its stride this year, after strong data on new residential permits.

All of this adds up, and leaves Rankin optimistic about the region's economy.

Speaking on WITF's Smart Talk, he says almost every sector is strong too.

"As far as slowing down or seeing job growth slow, Pennsylvania, statewide at least, isn't slowing down a great deal in any one industry," says Rankin.

Rankin says if there was one area of concern, it would be natural gas production and the companies that support the industry.

"Because of continued low prices, we've lost all of the job gains in natural resources development that we gained throughout 2013 and 2014."

Beyond that, he says the job market is so tight that companies may start raising wages to compete for talented workers.

Two convenience store chains - Sheetz and WaWa - recently announced they're pushing hourly wages up.

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