Economy
Percent Change in Labor Force


Percent Change in Labor Force

What does this measure?

Growth or decline in the total number of people available for work, including currently employed individuals, unemployed individuals, and individuals able to work but not actively seeking work at the time.

Why is this important?

The size of the labor force is an indicator of people's willingness and ability to find work. In a period of rapid economic growth, a larger share of the population (including teens, second earners in a family, and elders) will find roles in the workforce. The statistic indicates the health of an economy, particularly when considered along with the unemployment rate, which measures the proportion of the workforce that lacks jobs, but is seeking work.

How is our county performing?

In 2017, there were 212,100 people in Berks County's labor force, down 0.6% from the previous year. Berks County's labor force was larger than in neighboring Lebanon, Lehigh and Schuylkill counties, but smaller than Chester, Lancaster and Montgomery counties. Between 2000 and 2017, Berks County's labor force grew 9%, an increase larger than Pennsylvania, at 5%, but smaller than the nation at 12%. Three neighboring counties experienced larger gains than Berks did - Chester (19%), Lancaster (11%) and Lehigh (16%). Montgomery and Lebanon saw increases in their labor forces that were similar to Berks, while Schuylkill declined 6%.

Notes about the data

County-level estimates are based on relatively small samples, and the true number may vary considerably from the estimate. Data for this indicator are released annually in April.

There may be additional research available on this topic. Click on Reports and Resources to learn more.

Percent Change in Labor Force
200020012002200320042005200620072008200920102011201220132014201520162017
PennsylvaniaN/A1.2%0.6%-0.8%0.7%0.6%0.7%0.8%1.7%-0.8%-0.3%0.2%1.1%-0.3%-0.7%0.4%0.5%-0.4%
Berks CountyN/A0.9%0.6%-2.5%1.3%1.5%1.3%0.9%1.7%-1.3%3.1%0.0%0.8%-0.2%-0.2%0.7%0.4%-0.6%
Berks County Regions
Central
Northeast
South
Southeast
West
Reading city
Berks County Peers
Chester CountyN/A2.3%1.6%0.6%1.2%2.3%2.8%1.5%2.6%-2.2%0.5%0.2%1.1%0.2%0.1%1.2%1.2%0.3%
Lancaster CountyN/A1.6%1.9%-1.0%2.5%1.2%-0.2%0.9%1.8%-1.8%-0.6%-0.8%1.2%0.5%0.8%1.2%1.4%0.1%
Lebanon CountyN/A2.4%1.6%-0.1%3.0%1.8%1.5%1.3%1.7%-0.8%-3.7%-0.3%1.5%-0.2%-0.9%-0.1%0.8%-0.1%
Lehigh CountyN/A1.9%0.7%0.2%0.6%1.3%2.0%0.9%1.8%-0.3%-0.7%1.3%1.9%0.2%-0.1%1.5%1.8%-0.2%
Montgomery CountyN/A2.0%0.9%-0.4%-0.2%0.7%1.0%0.7%1.9%-3.0%1.2%-0.0%1.2%0.0%0.2%1.0%1.5%0.3%
Schuylkill CountyN/A-0.1%-0.1%-0.9%0.7%0.9%1.4%2.8%1.2%-0.8%-4.4%-0.9%1.3%-1.0%-1.8%-1.2%-0.9%-1.9%

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics




Total Labor Force
200020012002200320042005200620072008200920102011201220132014201520162017
Pennsylvania6,106,8926,178,6176,218,6436,170,3596,213,7786,251,4026,294,5046,342,9976,451,5356,400,2636,380,9496,395,5066,462,9396,442,4116,396,0416,420,7026,452,8126,427,370
Berks County195,287196,976198,134193,110195,697198,712201,350203,068206,505203,891210,144210,158211,794211,343211,004212,498213,262212,082
Berks County Regions
Central
Northeast
South
Southeast
West
Reading city
Berks County Peers
Chester County236,657242,002245,876247,448250,462256,305263,375267,222274,238268,122269,534270,047272,976273,546273,880277,062280,415281,136
Lancaster County251,460255,424260,329257,851264,391267,575267,104269,595274,555269,564268,009265,997269,189270,471272,597275,981279,894280,293
Lebanon County64,37365,92666,95666,87068,88570,11771,16672,12473,36972,76370,06169,83670,90770,73970,13370,06370,59970,550
Lehigh County163,039166,059167,288167,631168,571170,760174,194175,800178,950178,430177,192179,493182,868183,305183,072185,778189,074188,781
Montgomery County410,178418,261422,025420,500419,558422,571426,868430,052438,010425,087430,378430,366435,595435,621436,596440,895447,537448,710
Schuylkill County70,18470,14670,07069,46069,97070,57871,57273,59274,49673,92870,68870,05270,98370,24568,98468,18667,57966,298

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics




INDICATORS TREND | BERKS COUNTY