Pennsylvania Manufacturers: Driving Economic Growth and Providing Quality Jobs

Manufacturing has long been a critical driver of economic growth in Pennsylvania. With more than 14,000 manufacturing firms, the state’s manufacturing sector is a vital part of the economy, contributing $113.2 billion to the state GDP. Let’s explore the recent statistics on Pennsylvania Manufacturers from the IRC Network (click here to view the full fact sheet).

Number and Types of Firms

99% of manufacturing firms in Pennsylvania have under 499 employees per location, making them mostly small to medium-sized businesses. The majority of these firms are family-owned, and they play a crucial role in providing jobs and supporting local communities.


Manufacturing employs 9.5% of Pennsylvania workers, or 562,700 people. Furthermore, 62% of manufacturing jobs don’t require a degree, making them accessible to a broader range of individuals. These jobs are highly skilled and offer an average salary of $86,129 with benefits, which is 33% higher than the average salary for non-manufacturing jobs in Pennsylvania. Additionally, 90% of manufacturing jobs have medical benefits, and 78% of manufacturing workers receive retirement benefits.

Despite these attractive benefits, 45% of companies have reported turning away work due to a lack of workers, highlighting a growing challenge for the industry. To address this, many manufacturers are working to increase diversity in their workforce. As a result, 50% of manufacturers have increased their diversity, with 16% hiring more women and 12% hiring more people of color.

Economic Impact

Manufacturing is responsible for producing $52 billion worth of goods and services purchased in Pennsylvania, driving significant economic growth in the state. Additionally, manufacturers account for 70% of all research and development, highlighting their critical role in innovation and driving new products and services.

Moreover, every job in the manufacturing industry supports an additional 1.5 workers, totaling 2.5 million people in Pennsylvania. Additionally, for every dollar spent, manufacturing has a $1.76 total impact on the Pennsylvania economy, underscoring the importance of the industry to the state’s economy.


Pennsylvania manufacturers are major players in international trade, with $33.1 billion in exports, which is 30% of Manufacturing GDP. Furthermore, 5% of total exports to US Free trade agreement partners come from Pennsylvania manufacturers.


The manufacturing sector in Pennsylvania is a crucial driver of economic growth, providing quality jobs, supporting local communities, and driving innovation. As the industry continues to evolve, it will be essential to address challenges such as workforce shortages and ensure that the benefits of manufacturing are accessible to all Pennsylvanians.

If you are interested in supporting the growth of Southeast Pennsylvania’s talent and ensuring the continued success of the manufacturing industry, consider donating to DVIRC’s workforce initiative. By investing in workforce development, we can help ensure that the manufacturing industry continues to thrive, providing quality jobs and driving economic growth in Pennsylvania. Click here to learn more about our workforce initiative and how you can make a donation.