What does The Job Market Outlook in PA look like for 2019 and beyond?

Good news!

If you haven’t changed careers in a while and now you’re suddenly on the market again, you’ll be happy to hear that the job market outlook seems to be in favor of job seekers nowadays!

Pennsylvania’s Job Market is Getting Stronger

In fact, the job market outlook in PA is the best it’s been in quite a while! The unemployment rate (the percent of people who were unable to find jobs) in Pennsylvania was at 3.8 percent in May 2019. Ten years ago in May 2009, that stat was more than double… 8.1. That means that more people have been able to find jobs in PA… including potentially you!

Consider Which Industry You’re Looking For

Of course, the job market outlook in Pennsylvania is different for each job sector or industry. For example, health and education services have skyrocketed recently, as have hospitality and leisure services. However, manufacturing jobs have fallen. The job market overall has increased dramatically, but you’re likely to find more job listings for some of the rising industries.

Sure, but what does a good job market mean for me?

A strong job market means job seekers have more options. You can afford to be choosier because fewer people are struggling to find work. More jobs are up for grabs, and employers want to impress you. They know that you aren’t likely to settle for just any job… you want a job that suits your lifestyle, your skills, and your needs.

You’ll still have to prove that you’re a good candidate, but it’s easier than it has been in previous years.

Higher wages, better benefits.

Because employers in Pennsylvania are eager to keep their current workers and attract new applicants, you’ll see higher wages nowadays. Companies are also more likely to offer better benefits than they have within the past decade. When researching job options, be sure to consider whether they offer a competitive healthcare plan, vacation time, maternity/paternity leave, or flexible work hours.

You’re more likely to qualify.

The job market is also changing because employers are re-evaluating who exactly is qualified for highly skilled jobs. It used to be that you might had to have years of technical training. However, as US News World Report describes, more companies are teaching those skills on the job and opting to hire people who already have “soft skills”… things like time management skills, ability to communicate effectively, and a strong work ethic.

Don’t count out the small towns!

Keep in mind that Pennsylvania is a wide state! That means that the job market might not look exactly the same in each town. But don’t be fooled into thinking that only big cities can offer good careers.

Small towns don’t mean small opportunities. You might have heard on a recent Planet Money podcast episode that cities actually aren’t the best option anymore if you are looking for most everyday retail or office jobs.

For example, if you’re looking for jobs near Brockway, PA, you’re likely to find some great options! Healthcare jobs are ample there, but you’ll also find that the manufacturing industry is still thriving in this part of Pennsylvania.

Check out the job market outlook for your specific part of Pennsylvania. You’ll notice that there are some subtle differences depending on where you are… but overall, the market is strong and in your favor for 2019!

Think about where you want to work.

Statistics are great for getting a broad look at something, but we know that job searches and the job market don’t exist in a vacuum. You probably already have an idea of where you want to live and work. You’ll want to consider the cost of living, along with how close the work is to your current home or where you want to live.

Don’t forget that you want to work in a part of the country that you enjoy! Think about things that you value… is it spending time in nature, being close to extended family, the weather, or even the food? Making a list of your values and goals could be helpful!

Now is the time!