Philadelphia and Harrisburg, Pennsylvania

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Philadelphia and Harrisburg, Pennsylvania (October 22-23, 2014)

Philadelphia has long served as one of Pennsylvania's (and the Mid-Atlantic’s) most important cities. With an estimated GDP of $352 billion in 2011, the regional economy is the country’s seventh largest. It is also the nation’s fourth-biggest media market. Philadelphia is home to the important Philadelphia Stock Exchange and several Fortune 500 companies, including Comcast, Colonia Penn, Lincoln Financial Group and Aramark. Education and healthcare also comprise a vital part of the regional economy. Twelve of the fifteen largest private employers in Philadelphia come from the education and healthcare sector, while companies such as GlaxoSmithKline, Merck, GE Healthcare, and Johnson & Johnson, among others, help make Philadelphia a national center of medical research.

As Pennsylvania's capital, Harrisburg has been in the driver seat of an aggressive campaign to make the state an attractive destination for international business. The state government operates more than 20 overseas offices covering more than 60 markets worldwide, and aims to break down barriers to trade and attract foreign direct investment. In 2011, 23 foreign-based companies with investments totaling $371 million moved operations to the state, joining nearly 6,000 foreign-owned business locations already in Pennsylvania.

The state’s diverse economic landscape helps it maintain its position as one of the eastern US’s main economic hubs. Pennsylvania holds the 7th-largest manufacturing GDP in the US and benefits from the presence of large industries such as pharmaceuticals and chemicals. The state has also grown to become a major exporter of natural gas, with shale gas existing under approximately 60 percent of Pennsylvania land. Gas production grew 72 percent from 2011 to 2012, helping Pennsylvania become the third-largest gas producer in the US, behind only Texas and Louisiana.


Pennsylvania's Economy At a Glance

Population: 12,700,000 million (2013)

Labor Force: 6,343,000 (2014)

Gross Domestic Product (GDP): $644.9 billion (2014) GDP Per Capita: $47,274 (2013)

GDP Ranking among US States: 6th

Household median income: $52,007

Largest Private Employers:

  • Walmart Associates
  • Giant Stores, LLC
  • UPS, Inc.
  • PNC Bank, NA
  • Giant Eagle, Inc.