Pennsylvania Economy

The state of Pennsylvania has an economy that ranks 6th in the U.S. Its total gross state product is $570 billion. If it were an independent country, it would rank as 18th largest in the world. Per capital, the GSP ranks 29th out of 50 states.

The urban manufacturing centers of Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Erie, Scranton-Wilkes-Barre and Allentown-Bethlehem-Easton in the east of the state contribute much to the state's economy though much of the commonwealth is rural. The state ranks 19th out of 50 for overall agricultural production. It's first in mushrooms, second in apples and third in Christmas trees and layer chickens. IT ranks 8th in the U.S. for wine making. Pennsylvania also hosts 50 Fortune 500 companies with Philadelphia as home to six companies, and Pittsburgh is home to eight. They include U.S. Steel, PPG Industries, H.J. Heinz and G.E. Transportation Systems.

Keeping pace with the rest of the U.S., the state's largest employer is private employer is Wal-Mart, which is followed by the University of Pennsylvania. As of April 2012, unemployment stands at 7.4%.

The world wide problem colloquially called “The Great Recession” in the U.S. hit Pennsylvania's economy as hard as it hit the rest of the U.S. In September 2012, the state's unemployment rate rose above that of the rest of the nation for the first time since the start of the recession.