Economy Tracker

Current Edition

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

Visit The Institute’s You Tube Channel for video economic briefings.

Summer 2023

The second quarter 2023 edition includes articles on housing affordability, the workforce pipeline, and regional exports. As usual, the report also features the latest unemployment and labor force statistics.


Past Editions

Spring 2023

The first quarter 2023 edition includes articles on supply and demand in the health care workforce, regional commuting trends and labor sheds, and recent cost of living data. 

Fall 2022

The Fall 2022 edition includes articles on household income, the rising cost of rent in Northeast PA, the state of the retail industry, and trends in college-going rates. As usual, the report also features the latest unemployment and labor force statistics.


Spring 2022

The Spring 2022 edition includes articles on households’ financial outlook, the effects of the pandemic on family caregivers, data on fixed-income households, plus the latest wage trends, industry data, and labor market updates.


Winter 2022

The Winter 2022 edition includes articles on The Great Resignation, supply chain challenges facing small businesses,  and worker absences due to lack of child care, plus regional cost of living data and the latest labor market updates.

Fall 2021

The Fall 2021 Economy Tracker examines workforce challenges, including articles on long-term job demand and how the current job market creates opportunities for recent graduates. Also featured is an analysis of the importance of infrastructure jobs in the regional economy and the latest data on the labor market.

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 and an analysis of PPP funding approved in the region. Another major feature is a story about the housing wage – 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

DateTitleButton LinkDescription
2018 - JanSmall Business Impact: Vital Contributions to Regional Economy View ReportThe significant role of small businesses in the economy - locally, regionally, and nationally- cannot be ignored.
2015 - AprHigh Education Careers Associated with Lower Unemployment in NEPAView ReportIn 2014, a total of 240,956 people were employed and 18,184 were unemployed in the Luzerne and Lacka- wanna counties.
2015 - Jul Internet Infrastructure in Lackawanna & Luzerne Could be an Asset to Economic GrowthView ReportIn today’s interconnected society, the internet has become an essential part of everyday life.
2015 - OctSmall Businesses Making Big Contributions to Regional EconomyView ReportIt is commonly understood that small businesses play a vital role in our economy at the local, regional, and na- tional scales.
2016 - JanRegion Progressing in Increasing Educated Workforce — Efforts Critical to NEPA’s Economic SuccessView ReportIn order for a region to re- main economically competi- tive, it must be able to re- tain educated and skilled workers.
2016 - AprManufacturing Remains an Important Part of NEPA Economy and has Unique PotentialView ReportWhen discussing the re- gion’s economy, a common- ly held belief is that manu- facturing is in a terminal decline.
2016 - JulThe Institute Releases Research on Economic Indicators, Financial LiteracyView ReportOn May 12th, The Institute held its annual Indicators Forum at Mohegan Sun Po- cono. There were over 140 in attendance representing government, business, higher education, and non- profit organizations in Lackawanna and Luzerne Counties.
2016 - OctSmall Business Data Highlights Their Contribution to RegionView ReportThe economy of Luzerne and Lackawanna Counties is largely built upon and thrives off of the impact of small, local businesses.
2017 - JanUnderemployed NEPA Workers Still Face Economic StrugglesView ReportOn the surface, America’s unemployment crisis ap- pears to be on the wane.
2017 - Apr NEPA’s Retail Sector Shows Mixed Outlook Amid Nationwide UncertaintyView ReportThe retail industry sector employs over 31,000 workers in Lackawanna and Luzerne Counties, representing about 12 percent of total employment.
2017 - JulMigration Trends—People Moving In and Out of Northeastern PAView ReportThe rapidly changing economy of the 21st century has resulted in a high level of migration among the American population.
2017 - OctMigration Trends: County to County Population ChangesView ReportIn the summer 2017 edition of The Institute’s Quarterly Economy Tracker, data was presented on state to state migration trends.
2018 - AprHow Does Occupation Growth in the Region Compare to Other Metro Areas?View ReportData on growth for broad and detailed occupation categories was collected for 2014 and 2017 from the Bureau of Labor Statistics for several Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSA) in Pennsylvania as well as the Commonwealth as a whole.
2018 - JanSmall Business Impact: Vital Contributions to Regional Economy View ReportThe significant role of small businesses in the economy - locally, regionally, and nationally- cannot be ignored.
2018 - JanSmall Business Impact: Vital Contributions to Regional EconomyView ReportThe significant role of small businesses in the economy - locally, regionally, and nationally- cannot be ignored.
2018 - JulJobs of the Future: Key Industry Workforce ProjectionsView ReportIn the Spring 2018 edition of the Quarterly Economy Tracker, data was presented on regional occupation growth compared to other regions in Pennsylvania.
2018 - Oct Amid Workforce Shortage, Are Wages Growing?View ReportNationwide and in Northeastern Pennsylvania, the labor market has tightened considerably in recent years.
2019 - AprEconomic Impact of Tourism & TravelView ReportIn Northeastern Pennsylvania, tourism supports a wide variety of industries including hotels, restaurants, entertainment venues, transportation businesses.
2019 - Jan In PA, One in Five Adults Has Student DebtView ReportStudent loan debt has become a key factor shaping the personal finances of millions of Americans.
2019 - JulBusiness Vacancy: Challenges and OpportunitiesView ReportVacant storefronts, offices, and industrial buildings are a reality in virtually every community.
2019 - Oct Health Status and Economic ImplicationsView ReportThe environments in which people live, learn, work, and play can impact the health of individuals and populations.
2020 - AprClosures Could Impact 90,000 Workers in Non-Life-Sustaining IndustriesView ReportSince the beginning of the statewide shutdown of non-life-sustaining businesses, there has been an unprecedented economic disruption that has left thousands of workers unemployed and negatively affected the bottom line of businesses of almost all sizes and types.
2020 - JanWomen & Minority Owned Business TrendsView ReportThough women constitute just over half the country and Pennsylvania populations, women are the majority owners of one-fifth or fewer of the businesses in both geographies.
2020 - JulSurvey of Businesses Reveals COVID ChallengesView ReportThe Institute conducted a survey of business owners and managers with the partnership of regional Chambers of Commerce in order to learn more about the challenges facing businesses and adaptions they are making.
2020 - OctImpact of COVID-19 on Workforce DemographicsView ReportWhile the nation seeks to recover from the economic downturn caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, an analysis of unemployment claims data indicates certain segments, including women, younger workers, and some minority groups have been disproportionately impacted by job losses.
2021 - DecWorkforce Challenges Create Opportunity for the Post-Secondary PopulationView ReportCurrently, more than 10 million job vacancies are spread across all industry sectors in the United States. In conjunction, a record proportion of companies are raising pay in order to attract staff.
2021 - FebCovid has affected financial stability and food security for many.View ReportAcross the region and the Commonwealth, the COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in widespread economic disruption.
2021 - MayRising home values suggests strong migration into NEPAView ReportAnecdotal reports from real estate professionals have indicated strong demand for homes and rising home prices. Data confirms a rise in home prices in Northeastern Pennsylvania during the COVID-19 pandemic, which may indicate a trend of increased migration: more people moving into the region.
2021 - SepWhat is the wage needed to afford housing in Northeastern Pennsylvania?View ReportNortheastern Pennsylvania is touted as an area with affordable housing and a moderate cost of living, but what does that really mean for the region’s low-wage workers?