Central Pa. employment returns to prerecession levels

LEWISBURG – Employment in Central Pennsylvania is bouncing back to prerecession levels, according to figures from the Central Pennsylvania Workforce Development Corporation.

In 2007, the regional employment figure was 295,400. This figure now stands at 295,200. While the number of jobs is nearly the same, the region’s economic makeup has changed. Service employment comprised 78 percent of the workforce in 2007 and is at 81 percent now. Jobs in the goods-producing sector have fallen from 22 to 19 percent. While the healthcare industry added 5,100 jobs in that time, manufacturing lost 8,900 jobs.

In the last year, however, manufacturing in Central Pennsylvania added 100 jobs. The construction sector lost 300 jobs in the last year, the greatest job loss for any sector. Overall, the region gained 3,600 jobs in 2013-14, a one-percent gain.

Comparing prerecession levels to today, the largest employment increases were:

Health care and social assistance – 5,100 jobs, 14 percent

Mining, quarrying and oil and gas extraction – 2,300 jobs, 393 percent

Management of companies and enterprises – 1,900 jobs, 35 percent

The largest employment decreases were:

Wholesale trade – 800 jobs lost, 10 percent

Construction – 1,900 jobs lost, 12 percent

Manufacturing – 8,900 jobs lost, 19 percent

CPWDC is one of 23 Local Workforce Investment Areas in Pennsylvania. It is also a member of the Central Region Partners for Regional Economic Performance, which coordinates economic development efforts in the region. CPWDC coordinates workforce activities and initiatives to develop a quality labor force in Centre, Clinton, Columbia, Lycoming, Mifflin, Montour, Northumberland, Snyder and Union counties.