Pennsylvania manufacturers created 2,600 new jobs in December, 2011 – more than any other industry sector except for Construction Trades, which expanded by 3,000 jobs during the month. During the same period, Retail Trades, despite a busy holiday season, created only 400 new jobs, and the Financial Services, Transportation and Leisure & Hospitality industries each reduced their levels of employment, for total job losses of 5,600.

According to initial reports from the Pennsylvania Center for Workforce Information & Analysis, goods-producing industries, which include Mining & Logging, Construction Trades and Manufacturing enterprises, added 23,100 jobs during calendar 2011, for net job growth of 2.9%. Service-producing industries added 36,100 jobs during the same period, but expanded by less than 1% due to their larger overall employment base.

Manufacturing led the way in net job creation for the year, accounting for 12,100 new jobs, which surpasses net 2011 job creation metrics for Construction Trades (5,600), Retail Trade (5,500), Professional & Business Services (5,300) and Information Technology (3,400).

Throughout the entire 2011 year, Pennsylvania non-farm employment rose by 59,200 jobs, or slightly more than 1%. Thus, the manufacturing sector directly accounted for over 20% of all 2011 job growth. The industry’s contribution to indirect job growth, often estimated at 3 indirect (non-manufacturing) jobs for every newly-created manufacturing job, was not available at the time of this newsletter.

While the Pennsylvania Center for Workforce Information & Analysis still has to finalize its interpretation of employment reports filed throughout the Commonwealth, it appears that 2011 will mark the first year in over a decade during which the manufacturing sector experienced net job growth.