A lot of hay is made, and for good reason, about trying to attract and retain manufacturing jobs in Pennsylvania and across the country. But jobs are just part of what the sector means to the commonwealth and nation as a whole.
Most states attribute more of their economic output to manufacturing on a percentage basis than the share of their workforce in manufacturing would indicate.
Pennsylvania is one of 47 states where the percentage of each jurisdiction's gross state product (GSP) attributed to the manufacturing sector is larger than the percentage of the state's nonfarm workforce it employs.
With the commonwealth's 9.9 percent of nonfarm workforce attributed to manufacturing and the sector contributing about 12.3 percent of the state's GSP, the state has a contribution-over-workforce differential of 2.4.
Pennsylvania ranks 30th of the 50 states in this measure.
At the same time, food and related products are the second-largest manufacturing industry in Pennsylvania on a dollar-value basis. Only chemicals ($10.4 billion) are bigger than food, beverages and tobacco ($8.1 billion).
The following gives further snapshots of these and other statistics to show how manufacturing matters.