According to the latest Business Formation Statistics report, Pennsylvania saw a decrease in business applications last month compared to the same point in 2021, though a closer inspection over the past five years of data suggests business applications are substantially higher in Pennsylvania compared to the years before the pandemic.
This follows a broader trend within the state and region that’s been seeing business application numbers drop in comparison to last year, but remain significantly higher than pre-pandemic numbers.
In March of 2022, Pennsylvania saw a decrease of 1,271 business applications compared with March of last year, dropping from 13,269 to 11,998 applications. But a comparison with March of 2019, the last year before the pandemic, highlights a dramatic increase from the 9,219 applications submitted that year.
The data suggests that though business applications peaked in 2021, likely due to a combination of holdover applications from 2020 and federal aid programs, 2022 is on track to have more business applications submitted in the state than any point in the past ten years, excluding 2021.
Nearby states in the Northeast region with comparable economies also saw a similar trend in March, with business applications dropping or stagnating compared to the same point last year, even as they remain significantly higher than any recent point before the pandemic. New Jersey saw a minor drop to 13,224 applications from 13,736 in March of 2021, yet the 2022 numbers are still higher than 2019’s, which saw only 9,579 applications.
The Northeast region saw a decrease of 2,945 business applications during the month of March 2022 compared to the same point last year, falling from 67,085 to 64,140, though it remains higher than in March of 2019, which saw 49,963 applications.
Meanwhile, the nation saw a total of 413,958 business applications last month, which is a 36,639 application drop from the 450,597 business applications filed in March of 2021, highlighting that the economy still remains stable and strong despite reports of stagnant wages and inflation rates reaching an all-time high.
Overall, Utilities, Administrative and Support, and Real Estate were some of the industries that saw an increase in business applications during the month of March, while Retail Trade and Mining experienced the biggest drops.