Altoona is in Blair County, Pennsylvania. With a population of around 46,000, it's the tenth most populous city in the state. The city started out as a railroad town, and now has many museums and attractions commemorating this rich heritage. Horseshoe Curve, which was completed in 1854, is a National Historic Landmark and a marvel in railroad engineering. Plus, it's still one of the busiest railroad main lines around the world. There's also Altoona Railroaders Memorial Museum, which showcases the lives and contributions of the people who contributed to this industry.
The cost of living in Altoona is not only 19.1 percent lower than the average cost of living throughout the state; it's also 17.8 percent less than the average around the country. Residents here enjoy health care and housing that are well below the national average.
Altoona Job Opportunities
While the railroad industry was once the top employer of the city, it's no longer the sole economic force of the area. Even though the different railroad shops around the city still employ thousands of people, health care is now the top employment industry in Altoona. Today, health systems such as Altoona Regional Health System, Van Zandt Medical Center and HealthSouth Rehabilitation Hospital all offer the most Altoona, PA jobs.
Additionally, those looking for work should also check out retail jobs in Altoona, PA. With its central location in the state and direct access from Interstate 99, Altoona draws an incredible number of consumers to the area. The city has almost 3.5 miles of road that consists solely of shopping plazas and stores, many malls and new shopping centers now under construction.
However, those finding it difficult to get Altoona jobs can also look for jobs in State College. Just a straight drive up the interstate, State College is home to Pennsylvania State University. This public university is one of the largest in the country. It offers over 160 majors from undergraduate to doctoral and employs around 8,800 people.
Altoona Employment Trends
Currently, the unemployment rate in Altoona is at 6 percent. While this is just slightly higher than the state unemployment rate of 5.7 percent, it is lower than the national rate of 6.2 percent. Even so, the growing health care industry will continue to provide jobs in Altoona. In fact, Bestplaces.net predicts there will be a 35.9 percent growth for Altoona jobs over the next ten years.