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A February 2021 report issued by the State Science & Technology Institute (SSTI), a national research, education and information organization dedicated to supporting prosperity nationwide, identified the manufacturing sector as a critical component of Pennsylvania’s existing economy and future economic vitality. More specifically, the report, which analyzed Gross State Product (GSP) and Gross Domestic Product (GDP) metrics from 2019, highlighted the manufacturing sector as the top producer of wealth in 31 of Pennsylvania’s 67 counties and among the top three (3) sectors in 47 counties across the Commonwealth. By contributing $92.3 billion to Pennsylvania’s total GSP in 2019, the manufacturing sector accounted for 11.42% of GSP – a level surpassed only by real estate rental and leasing operations. By comparison, the Commonwealth’s construction, natural resources, retail, logistics and utilities sectors each generated less than 5% of GSP during the same period while the agriculture sector, commonly perceived as Pennsylvania’s mainstay, generated less than 1%.


Manufacturing is particularly essential to rural Pennsylvania communities, noted by SSTI as the highest value-generator in 22 of 48 rural counties and among the top three (3) sectors in more than two-thirds of the Commonwealth’s rural counties overall.


“SSTI’s analysis proves that Pennsylvania’s manufacturing sector was thriving at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic and remains the Commonwealth’s best bet for leading our post-COVID-19 economic recovery and return to long-term, sustainable prosperity,” said Eric Joseph Esoda, President & CEO of the Northeastern Pennsylvania Industrial Resource Center (NEPIRC), a non-profit firm that provides technical expertise, training and specialized consulting services to small and mid-sized manufacturers across a highly-industrialized 11-county region of Pennsylvania. “By generating new wealth for Pennsylvania through sales to out-of-state customers and exporting, providing good-paying jobs, and supporting a robust network of suppliers, vendors and neighborhood businesses, a strong manufacturing economy benefits all Pennsylvanians – and is therefore where we need to focus the bulk of our COVID-19 business recovery efforts. Other sectors follow when manufacturers flourish,” he added.


At a national scale, SSTI recognized manufacturing as the second (2nd) largest private sector contributor to GDP in 2019, with a contribution of $2.32 trillion, again bested only by the real estate rental and leasing sector. Manufacturing was noted as the leading output sector in 28% of the 3,117 county economies reviewed by SSTI and within the top three (3) most prominent sectors in nearly 50% of those counties.


Readers can access the full report by clicking here.













NEPIRC is a not-for-profit professional service organization that provides world-class consultative services in critical aspects of manufacturing operations, talent development, strategy and growth to small and mid-sized manufacturers across an 11-county region of Pennsylvania. NEPIRC’s goal is to improve the quality of life for its community, Pennsylvanians, and all Americans through a strong, vibrant, resilient and growing manufacturing economy. More information can be found at


About SSTI

SSTI is a national not-for-profit organization dedicated to supporting prosperity through science, technology, innovation and entrepreneurship. As such, SSTI conducts research to provide practitioners and policymakers with information essential to developing policies and programs that create a better future for Americans. More information can be found at

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