The Center for Workforce Information & Analysis provides a list of Pennsylvania’s top 50 employers in ranked order. In 1967, Pennsylvania’s top five largest employers were:
- U.S. Steel Corporation
- Bethlehem Steel Company
- Westinghouse Electric Corporation
- Bell Telephone Company
- General Electric Company
In the 4th quarter of 2009, the top five employers were:
- Federal Government
- Pennsylvania State Government
- Wal-Mart Associates Inc.
- City of Philadelphia
- University of Pennsylvania
Sears Roebuck & Co. is the only company that was on Pennsylvania’s Top 50 Employers list from 1967 to remain on the 2009 list.
An important observation can be drawn from the list – the economy and business structure of Pennsylvania is constantly changing. Before (in the 60’s and 70’s) manufacturing, electricity, and a handful of merchandise stores dominated. Today, it’s federal and state government employment with a strong presence of hospitals, large higher education institutions, and big box retailers.
It’s natural for the business structure to change and impossible to predict which businesses will be around in 20, let alone 50 years. This is why government intervention in the form of corporate welfare is nonsensical at best. Bailouts and bribes take power away from the consumer and to concentrate it in the government.