Outdoor Recreation Industry Continues to Bloom in Pennsylvania

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The businesses related to outdoor recreation continue to make significant contributions to the health of Pennsylvania’s economy as well as for that of the state’s residents, writes Lauren Jessop for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, outdoor recreation-related industries in manufacturing, retail, and tourism ­employed more than 150,000 people in 2021 and added $14 billion to the gross domestic product.

Recently announced bureau statistics from the state’s Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) show that this sector was responsible for 1.6 percent of Pennsylvania’s total economic productivity in 2021, as well as 2.5 percent of its workers.

According to the DCNR, over the last five years, the outdoor manufacturing sector has increased by 25 percent and wages earned are currently 10 percent above those in other sectors.

The largest portion of the industry is in the retail sector, which is also rapidly growing. Since 2017, the sale of hiking, camping, climbing equipment, and the like increased its contribution to the state’s GDP by 52 percent.

In tourism, visitors to recreation areas increased the state’s GDP by $5.3 billion.

Read more about Pennsylvania’s outdoor recreation boom in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

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