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Industrial Park Series: By The Numbers, A Look At Our Workforce





April 23, 2019


By the Numbers: A Look At Our Workforce

By: John Augustine, President/CEO, Penn's Northeast


Pittston, Luzerne County, PA - A Look at our workforce.


Recently the Institute for Public Policy and Economic Development, in partnership with Penn’s Northeast analyzed the current and forecasted workforce, industry, and educational profiles of Luzerne County.


According to the 2017 U.S. Census Bureau population estimates, Luzerne County had a population of 317,343 people, which saw an increase from the previous year.

Workforce Trends

  • As of 2018, Luzerne County had a total workforce of 152,817 workers.
  • The region’s higher education infrastructure is an asset in addressing workforce needs. In the 2016-2017 academic school year, a total of 4,537 degrees were awarded.


Luzerne County has seen a rise in net employment within the past five years, with an increase of 4.7 percent overall. The number of employees has consistently gone up in Luzerne County over the years, as displayed in the chart below.

Healthcare Growth

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics:

  • There were 26,128 people working in the health care industry in Luzerne County as of 2018.
  • Luzerne County saw an increase of 1,082 jobs over the last five years, and jobs related to health care grew at an annual rate of 0.8 percent every year.
  • In the next five years, a demand of 14,495 workers is expected, with 6,224 workers expected to exit the workforce, 6,443 workers transferring to other industries, and an increase of 1,829 workers overall with an annual rate of 1.4 percent.
  • In Luzerne County, there are 1,079 employers in the health care field.
  • Health care represents 12.8 percent of the total GDP for Luzerne County and 17.1 percent of total jobs in the area.
  • Registered nurses, nursing assistants, personal care aides, licensed practical and licensed vocational nurses, and home health aides are occupations in which more than 1,000 workers employed.
  • There are 3,248 registered nurses, 2,266 nursing assistants, 1,961 personal care aides, 1,064 licensed practical and licensed vocational nurses, and 1,000 home health aides employed in the health care and social assistance filed in the county.
  • Approximately $310 million was paid in wages to those working in Luzerne County’s health care and social assistance industry in the third quarter of 2018. A total of 744 degrees were awarded in Luzerne County in healthcare-related fields.
  • The programs with the most awards given were registered nursing and health services. A total of 338 degrees were offered for students to become registered nurses in the county last year.

About Penn’s Northeast

Penn’s Northeast (PNE) is Northeastern Pennsylvania’s regional nonprofit economic development agency, dedicated to attracting quality employers to our region.


Created by a coalition of private business leaders, utility companies, local economic development organizations, Chambers of Commerce, and governments to promote Northeastern Pennsylvania’s collective assets, Penn’s Northeast facilitates the creation and retention of quality jobs by marketing Northeastern Pennsylvania to the world, and by providing site selection and incentive financing assistance to businesses, real estate brokers, developers, and site selection consultants.


The organization serves as a single regional point of contact for businesses looking to relocate to or expand within Northeastern Pennsylvania, functioning as a liaison between local development partners, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and businesses seeking new facilities.


PNE was created to perform a specific set of responsibilities — collaborative external marketing and site selection assistance — on behalf of its member organizations. Penn’s Northeast was created with the knowledge that Northeastern Pennsylvania is a large and varied region. Consequently, the organization works hard to be responsive to its diversity of strengths, to its geography, and to its stakeholders.


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