Manufacturing in Pennsylvania continues to decrease ,whether it’s measured by the number of establishments, the number of employees, or the value of sales, according to the recently released 2012 Economic Census.

Here’s what the Census found:

  • The number of manufacturing establishments in Pennsylvania dropped 9.2 percent 2007-2012. Nationwide the decrease during that time was 10.8 percent.
  • Pennsylvania is still one of the top states for manufacturing, with 13,988 establishments (as of 2012). The only states with more manufacturers are California, Texas, New York and Ohio.  
  • Within Pennsylvania, the counties with the most manufacturing firms are Allegheny, Bucks, Montgomery, Lancaster and Philadelphia. 
  • Employment in the manufacturing sector in Pennsylvania fell by 16.5 percent 2007-2012.
  • About two thirds of manufacturing companies in the state are small, employing less than 20 people. The small establishments also fare better; they saw their worker base shrink by 8.1 percent while large companies saw a decrease of 14 percent.
  • The value of shipments fell by 11 percent 2007-2012.

Manufacturing Estab PaCounties 12 small

Lest you think Pennsylvania is doing relatively better than some other states, Christopher Briem, with the University Center for Social and Urban Research at the University of Pittsburgh, wrote in an email that Pennsylvania’s 9.2 percent decline is not so different from the nationwide average of 10.8 percent. Both are incredibly steep drops.

If anything is saving the sector from even faster decline, it’s that “there just isnt' as much manufacturing left in Pennsylvania to contract,” Briem wrote.    

In fact, since 2012, employment in the manufacturing sector in Pennsylvania has been pretty stagnant.