Sweets Capital of the USA

by | Oct 7, 2021 | Employment, Industries, Location Quotient | 0 comments

29With Halloween fast approaching an analysis by StateBook researchers* shows that Pennsylvania is awash in metro areas specializing in producing the sweets many of us stock up on at this time of year: chocolate and confectionery manufacturing.

The location quotient (LQ) is a standard technique used to determine if a region has a concentration of a particular industry. An LQ above 1 means the region is above average for that industry. StateBook researchers reviewed and ranked employment LQs by metropolitan statistical area (MSA).

Pennsylvania MSAs with employment LQs over 1 were:

  • Lancaster, PA 29.12
  • Scranton-Wilkes-Barre-Hazleton, PA 22.40
  • Reading, PA 20.37
  • Altoona, PA 7.81
  • Youngstown-Warren-Boardman, OH-PA 3.26
  • Pittsburgh, PA 3.18
  • Erie, PA 2.94
  • Chambersburg-Waynesboro, PA 1.94
  • Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington, PA-NJ-DE-MD 1.58

    Pennsylvania chocolate and confectionery manufacturing includes giants like:

    • Tootsie Roll (Scranton-Wilkes-Barre-Hazleton)
    • Mars (Lancaster)
    • Dove (Lancaster)
    • And, of course, Hershey. Hershey is in the Harrisburg-Carlisle, PA MSA. Harrisburg is not listed in the data for this industry, most likely because publishing the data for it would violate BLS confidentiality procedures. Given the size of Hershey, one would expect the Harrisburg MSA to have a large employment LQ.

    Pennsylvania is home to many private label and smaller chocolate and confection manufacturers such as:

    • TreeHouse Foods (Lancaster)
    • Gardner Candies (Altoona)
    • Philadelphia Candies (Youngstown-Warren-Boardman, OH-PA)

    As you unwrap your favorite candy on October 31st, you just might have Pennsylvania to thank for it!


    *2020 full-year data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages was supplemented by original research by StateBook researchers.