10C — April 13 - 26, 2018 — Southeastern Pennsylvania — M id A tlantic

Real Estate Journal


S outheastern P ennsylvania By Colin McEvoy, Lehigh Valley EDC Lehigh Valley provides gateway to the nation’s biggest metropolitan area


he regional economy of the Lehigh Valley is now larger than that

Vermont. That marks a more than 4% increase in the Lehigh Valley economy over the previ- ous year, which itself had been a record-high number. Comprised of Lehigh and Northampton counties – which includes the cities of Allen- town, Bethlehem, and Easton – the Lehigh Valley was also recently named by Site Selec- tion magazine as one of the Top five regions in the Northeast- ern United States in terms of economic development for the second consecutive year. Based on the magazine’s

tracking of total projects by region, the Lehigh Valley ranked behind only the NYC, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, and Boston metropolitan areas in the Northeast. The Lehigh Valley was the only region in the population range between 200,000 and 1 million to make the top five list. “You need only to look at the four heavy-hitters the Lehigh Valley shares that list with to see that we are swinging well above our weight class,” said Don Cunningham, president and CEO of the Lehigh Val- ley Economic Development Corporation (LVEDC). “This past year has been a signifi- cant one for economic growth in the Lehigh Valley, and we continue to be the fastest- growing region in the state of Pennsylvania.” The Lehigh Valley saw an- other year of strong economic growth in 2017, which speaks to the remarkable diversity among its various economic sectors, a sign of a well-bal- anced and multifaceted econ- omy. Each individual subsec- tor saw year-over-year GDP growth from 2016 to 2017, according to the U.S. Depart- ment of Commerce’s Bureau of Economic Analysis. Finance, insurance and real estate is the top economic sec- tor at $7.9 billion, followed closely by manufacturing ($6.9 billion), professional and busi- ness services ($5.3 billion), and education and health care ($5.3 billion). Transportation and warehousing makes up $1.9 billion of the regional economy, but is the fastest- growing sector, with a year- over-year growth rate of 9.5 percent. “Gone are the days when the Lehigh Valley economy depended entirely on one in- dustry, or on a single employer like Bethlehem Steel,” Cun- ningham said. “Our growth has been broad-based and balanced. All of our eggs are no longer in a single basket.” LVEDC tracked 31 business attraction or expansion proj- ects in the Lehigh Valley that were either announced, under construction, or completed in 2017, creating more than 2,200 jobs and retaining more than 1,300. The organization also provided access to $17.2 million in financing in 2017, resulting in another 810 jobs either created or retained. continued on page 15C

of the entire state of Wyo- ming or Ver- mont, as well as 108 other countries in the world. T h e L e - high Valley’s gross domes- tic product


Colin McEvoy

(GDP) has reached an all-time high of $39.1 billion in 2017, compared to $38.5 billion in Wyoming and $31.5 billion in



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