Midstate counties vary in job growth since recession

Written by Rachel McDevitt | Jun 14, 2018 7:34 PM

Graphic from Pennsylvania Employment on the Move: 2001-17

(Harrisburg) -- The midstate had a mix of winning and losing counties when it comes to jobs in the last decade.

 A recent analysis from Penn State looked at the state of employment in the years leading up to the 2008 recession and the years following. It shows a strong shift of jobs to the southeast corner of the state.

Between 2001 and 2008, 53 of Pennsylvania's 67 counties saw an increase in jobs, but only 15 experienced job growth in the next eight years and most of them were in the southeast.

Researchers say that's likely because of the diversified economy around Philadelphia.

Report co-author Ted Alter, professor of agricultural, environmental, and regional economics at Penn State, said while the data reflect employment on the county level, economies don't stop at county lines.

He said the shift of job growth generally to the southeast suggests policies should be decided on a regional basis.

"Rural and urban is just a way we talk about things. Rural and urban is really interdependent and the economies of rural and urban areas are interdependent," Alter said. 

While 16 counties in WITF's coverage area gained jobs before the recession, only six did afterward.

Growth was strongest in the last several years in Berks, Lancaster, and York counties. Dauphin, Cumberland, and Snyder counties had moderate growth.

View the full analysis here

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