Working for America
State Workforce Investment Board
Pennsylvania Workforce Investment Board
Stephanie Larkin, Director
651 Boas Street, 12th Floor
Harrisburg, PA 17121
Key Workforce Priorities
- Industry partnerships are at the core of Pennsylvania’s industry-led workforce development systems. They exemplify the commonwealth’s effort to direct training and investments at crucial industries’ workforce needs. Through this initiative we have 6,300 employers participating, 74 partnerships are active and more than 88,000 individuals are enrolled in, or have completed, training.
- To meet the health care needs of Pennsylvania’s aging population, the Center for Health Careers is leading successful efforts to increase the capacity to train and graduate nurses and other health care workers, providing more opportunities for citizens prepare for the in-demand jobs of today and beyond. The Center has increased by 65 percent the graduation rate for registered nurses, increased by 32 percent the graduation rate for licensed practical nurses, and conducted annual, statewide Health Careers Week activities that reach tens of thousands of middle and high school students, helping them explore and make informed decisions about careers in health care.
- Over the next 10 years, Pennsylvania’s population is projected to grow by 2 percent. In comparison, the nation’s population will grow by nearly 9 percent. The state’s percentage of those age 65 and over is the fourth-highest in the nation (15.5 percent); Florida, West Virginia and Maine have a higher percentage of people age 65 and older.
- Beginning around 2016, Pennsylvania’s working-age population (age 25 to 64) will decrease annually until at least 2030, causing worker shortages. Some areas, industries and occupations will be affected sooner – and harder – than others.
- Most unemployed Pennsylvanians are of prime working age. Fully 92 percent are age 20 or older, and nearly six of every 10 are age 25 to 54. Nearly two-thirds (65 percent) of Pennsylvania’s long-term unemployed – those unemployed for more than 26 weeks – are age 25 to 54.
- Most people who are unemployed in Pennsylvania have an extensive work history. Of Pennsylvanians unemployed in 2009, roughly half had no previous unemployment claims from 2001 to 2007. Over this same period, 80 percent worked at least five of seven years. These workers represent a vast pool of people ready to rejoin the workforce as the economy recovers.
- Pennsylvania’s Education & Health Services, Leisure & Hospitality industry and Professional & Business Services sectors will account for nearly 90 percent of all annual employment growth through 2018. The Health Care & Social Assistance industries are expected to dominate job growth.
- While jobs were hard to come by during the recent recession, once an economic recovery takes hold, employment in most major occupational groups will increase. Modest economic growth, coupled with an aging population retiring from the workforce, will create opportunities for jobseekers in Pennsylvania. As Baby Boomers retire, 81 percent of all annual job openings will be due to replacements for workers leaving the workforce.
- The best-paying jobs, in many different occupations across all industries over the next decade, will go to those achieving more than a high school education.
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