What are the Fastest Growing Industries in Pennsylvania?

Pennsylvania is a historically innovative state, with a long list of first achievements. For example, in 1909, Pittsburgh built the first professional baseball stadium. Somewhat later, Pennsylvania would be the first state to list its official website URL on license plates. Of course, Hershey is the chocolate capital of the United States. Pennsylvania also has a history of looking after its people, with several periods during the 19th and 20th century in which Pennsylvania saw record job growth in a wide range of industries. Historically, steel production, coal mining and petroleum processing were the fastest growing industries in Pennsylvania, but that no longer holds true today; renewable energy sources and non-manufacturing jobs are causing those industries to shrink across the country.

So, what are the fastest growing industries in Pennsylvania today?

Food Products and Other Organic Produce

The food industry, as well as those surrounding other organic products — such as gardening, and even Christmas trees — constitute some of the fastest-growing fields of human endeavor in Pennsylvania today. Job growth in these areas averages out to around 11%, which is well above the national standard job growth rate of 7-8%. Pennsylvania has always been a heavy agricultural state, but with production costs on the rise, today's industry focuses a lot more on highly specialized products. Food production in Pennsylvania is more likely than elsewhere to focus on products that require highly specialized equipment or intensive processing to produce.

Paints and Chemicals

Fracking has produced a resurgence in the natural gas industry, and this has created an assocated boom in the chemical industry. Pennsylvania was once one of the biggest oil-producers in America; it retains large, viable infrastructure for the production, storage and refinement of a wide range of industrial chemicals, paints, solvents, and similar substances. Many of the chemicals involved in the fracking industry come from Pennsylvania, and this industry is experiencing an overall job growth rate of 9%. It's worth noting that this is actually more than the increase that is predicted to occur in the natural gas industry itself, specifically in Pennsylvania, over the course of the next 12-14 years.

Read: 30 Best Value Colleges and Universities in Pennsylvania

Book, Magazine and Newspaper Printing and Publishing

The 7% growth rate in this industry may not look like much; in fact, it's just barely on a par with the average industrial job growth rate across the country. However, this is far in excess of the same industry's growth in other parts of the country. Pennsylvania has enjoyed a strong publishing and printing industry since America's Colonial period, and what was once feared to be a dying industry has recently proven itself to be resurging. Sales of print booksand magazines are rising, and eBooks and other publications are dropping accordingly. If the industry is poised for an explosive comeback, there's a good chance that many of its new jobs will be located here.

Pennsylvania is not the fastest-growing employment state in the country. However, by focusing on some of the fastest growing industries in Pennsylvania, you will find a wide range of new jobs being created, suited to a diverse range of talents, personal experiences, and college programs. In addition to food production, chemicals and print publishing, Pennsylvania is still noteworthy for the production of heavy machinery, utilizing the steel it was once famous for producing.