Research Economy Tracker

The new Economy Tracker is a quarterly publication covering economic and business trends in the region. The Sordoni Family Foundation is the Signature Underwriter and UGI Utilities is a Contributing Underwriter.

Current Economy Tracker Editions

Fall 2021

This issue has great insight on workforce issues including the working poor and the data may surprise. Each short article identifies trends, changes, and projections for in demand jobs and the worker shortage. With the passage of the infrastructure bill, how does that affect employment in those sectors? Great features and a quick read - click on the link today!

Summer 2021

The Summer 2021 edition of the Tracker covers information from the U.S. Census Household Pulse Survey that discusses how people are catching on their financial situation after COVID. The PPP story discusses PPP funding approved in the region. Another major feature is a story about the housing wage - specifically how much money do you need to earn to afford a home in NEPA! The results may surprise you.

An updated labor market profile is also included.

Spring 2021

The spring issue of the Economy Tracker reviews rising home values, vaccination progress, financial stability and food security as a result of COVID and job postings and wage growth.

Winter 2021

This issue covers how COVID has affected financial stability and food security. Further, this issue covers the disproportionate negative disruption on entertainment and recreation - a major economic impact generator for the region. Finally, labor market data and female share of employment related to wage growth are also featured.

Fall 2020

The fall edition of the Tracker provides updates on the impact of COVID on a variety of sectors in our region including health systems, public education, business & industry and the workforce.

Past Economy Tracker Editions

Edition Description
Summer 2020 The Summer 2020 edition of the Tracker includes several articles of COVID-19 impact on the economy, businesses, non-profits, and community resilience. The data reveals some surprises such as the capacity of local small businesses to adapt, develop new products, processes and implement technology to remain viable. Of course, it isn't a surprise to learn about the devastation and revenue loss many businesses and non-profits are dealing with during COVID-19. Further, there is a article about the unequal distribution of poverty in the region along with a map identify Census Tracts where all residents have income below the federal poverty line. Issues relating to poverty (including those with incomes above the poverty level, but not earning enough to meet basic needs) have grown in the last decade. The region is seeing a hollowing out of our middle class. This is a major issue that, if left unaddressed, will effectively negatively impact our entire economy and quality of life.
Spring 2020- Special Release The spring 2020 edition of the Trackers is dedicated to the impacts of COVID-19 on northeastern Pennsylvania’s economy, businesses, governments, non-profits, and households. It lays the foundation for 14 detailed research studies - Institute Insights on COVID-19 that are currently underway. The Institute will be publishing studies through the end of this year to evaluate the crisis and the recovery phase as well as planning recommendations to mitigate the impact of another public health crisis. Thank you to our research sponsors as of May 4, 2020 - Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce, UGI Utilities, Wells Fargo Foundation and the NEPA COVID-19 Fund.
Winter 2020 This edition discusses trends in women and minority owned businesses in Pennsylvania, the region’s aging workforce, city housing data, and economic disparities in school districts. Also, understanding business concentrations using LQ !
Fall 2019 The environments in which people live, learn, work, and play can impact the health of individuals and populations. Social and economic factors like housing, education, workplaces, the environment, recreational opportunities, and transportation influence health. Health disparities can result when differences in these conditions adversely impact different populations. Learn more about those implications in NEPA. This issues Cartography Corner examines regional home ownership by Millennials! Plus so much more.
Summer 2019 The summer Tracker highlights business vacancies, health care employment, employee turnover, workforce and labor market data. This issue features some findings from our NEPA College & University Poll. Find out more about our future workforce!
Spring 2019 The Spring 2019 has several interesting features including a detailed evaluation of travel and tourism in NEPA. Additionally, the region’s economic resilience is examined by studying the concentration of industry and employment and evaluating the potential economic impact during another recession. Finally, the retail industry is a major regional employer, yet retail comprises a very broad category and some retail segments will continue to do well, while others will see decline. As usual, the Data Spotlight and Cartography corner will interesting data points and analytics.
Winter 2019 This edition examines topics such as neighborhood economic resiliency, workers affected by automation, green energy and regional student debt.
Fall 2018 Nationwide and in Northeastern Pennsylvania, the labor market has tightened considerably in recent years. In Lackawanna and Luzerne counties, the unemployment rate stood at 4.7 and 5.6 percent through the first half of 2018, a modest decline from the prior year and a drop of over four percentage points since 2012. There are two related components driving this trend: growth in jobs, and minimal growth in the size of the labor force.
Summer 2018 In the Summer 2018 edition of the Quarterly Economy Tracker, data was presented on regional occupation growth compared to other regions in Pennsylvania. The data showed some differences across regions, but a general trend toward growth in occupations that do not necessarily require a four year college degree. The impacts of the health care, retail, and manufacturing sectors were evident in the growth projections.
Spring 2018 Workforce, it is! This edition covers occupation growth, employment, hires, separations, and turnovers. Wonder about the region’s higher education graduates? Find out the top fields of study by degree type. Plus, find data on several other economic indicators to help guide your decisionmaking.
Winter 2018 This edition discusses the small business sector contribution to our region’s economy. The region has a robust small business sector that consists not only of small employers, but also of sole proprietors in a variety of businesses. The report also highlights the latest cost of living data which is a major regional asset. The region’s ranks costs below many areas in Pennsylvania and the U.S. Finally, a number of other economic and business indicators are explored in this issue in an effort to provide insight to the business community.
Fall 2017 The Economic Tracker Fall 2017 edition dives deeper into Pennsylvania County migration patterns. Specifically, which counties are contributing to the growth or decline of another. The issue also highlights The Institute’s recent research study commissioned by the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia in support of the work of the Scranton Area Foundation’s Equitable Transit Council and the recent summit in which Fed President Harker addressed an audience of 150+ in Scranton on October 17. Finally, regional composition of business and industry and labor market data is included.
Summer 2017 This issue highlights high level migration patterns in the region. Specifically, what states are contributing to population growth and the states responsible for the region's population loss. The issues also highlights minority entrepreneurship statistics in the region. In 2015, The Institute implemented a polling program. The primary polls focus on the attitudes, interest, and perceptions of students in The Institute's higher education consortium. This issues summarizes the findings of their post graduation plans. The region's cost of living is a major competitive factor adding to quality of life. Read more about the region compared to other parts of the U.S.
Spring 2017 This issue highlights the changing retail sector in the region and the challenges the global retail industry faces. The issues also highlights female entrepreneurship in the region. In 2016, The Institute previewed the Pillars of a Strong Community Index. This index measures and benchmarks the region in an index highlight four pillars of strong communities - economic, health and families, infrastructure and physical assets and community. The 2017 Index highlights the depicts the most current data and change from 2016.
Winter 2017 This issue discusses the underemployed in the region and the economic struggles these workers face. The issues also highlights wage distribution among occupation groups and a feature on employment in the hospitality industry and its future job growth. Indicators on income and five year trends are presented.
Fall 2016 This issue discusses the impact of small business on the region and the growing trend of entrepreneurship. The issues also highlights regional commuting patterns including that of supercommunters - the 8+ percent of residents that communte 75+ miles or more per day to work. Other articles include the 2nd quarter 2016 cost of living data and ten year trend analysis of average wages by sector.
Summer 2016 This issue highlights the increase in demand for infrastructure jobs over the next 10 years. Additionally, it includes original Insitute research on financial literacy. There is also a section on the impact of the region's tourism economy and city level unemployment statistics. The traditional labor market data and selected economic indicators are also in this publication.
Winter 2015 This issue discusses workforce and education, city level unemployment, regional income and inflation, and transportation barriers and growth.
Fall 2015 This issue discusses regional impact of small business, labor force participation, a comparison of property tax burdens by county, growth in regional wages, and the true impact of the Great Recession on our region's economy.
Summer 2015 This issue discusses regional infrastructure and its impact on the economy, our downtowns as centers of knowledge, and the impact of tourism on our region.
Spring 2015 This issue discusses the link between higher education and lower unemployment in northeastern Pennsylvania. It also talks about home ownership and affordablility for most residents. Finally, the last feature focuses on the issue of poverty.
Winter 2014-15 This issue focuses on healthcare employment, immigration and impact on employment, municipal indicators, education, and occupation data.
Fall 2014 This issue contains a feature on the growing distribution and ecommerce cluster along with articles including labor market data and geographic patterns in the job market.
Fall 2013 This economy tracker will examine both Luzerne and Lackawanna Counties at the county level. The data that is gathered is then compared in relation to statewide statistics, as well as national figures.
2012 Economic Profile
2012 Business Profile
2012 Demographics Profile

Recession Tracker Editions

The Recession Tracker is a bi-monthly report covering current economic indicators in the region. In addition, to the indicators, each tracker will highlight responses from residents in the region to questions relating to the indicator. The Institute envisions that by the end of 2009, The Recession Tracker will continue as a publication of The Institute under the name “Economy Tracker”.

Pocono Mountain County Recession Tracker

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The University of Scranton
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