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Lehigh Valley Continues to Draw Residents and Companies

By Colin McEvoy on January 2, 2020

The Lehigh Valley was featured prominently in the recently-published Workforce Supplement included in the Q4 2019 issue of Area Development magazine. The article, penned by LVEDC Vice President of Business Attraction, Retention & Expansion Matthew Tuerk, can be found below, and the full supplement can be found digitally here.

Nestled in eastern Pennsylvania, near New York City and Philadelphia, Lehigh Valley is home to over 670,000 people living in vibrant cities (Allentown, Bethlehem, and Easton), thriving suburbs, and charming small towns.

The cover of the Q4 2019 issue of Area Development magazine’s Workforce Supplement.

Interstate highways connect the region to ports in Newark and Philadelphia, and to over 100 million people within a day’s drive. Proximity to the largest national markets and linkage to the most important commercial corridor in the country have made Lehigh Valley an increasingly important economic hub.

Lehigh Valley’s gross domestic product reached a record-high $41.2 billion in 2018, with much of the growth driven by the region’s prospering manufacturing sector. The region’s more than 700 manufacturers account for $7.4 billion – or 18% – of the overall regional economy.

The Lehigh Valley’s economy is balanced and not dependent on a single sector. The region’s top four sectors are incredibly balanced and include finance, insurance and real estate ($7.8 billion); manufacturing ($7.3 billion); education & health care ($6.1 billion); and professional services ($5.1 billion).

What’s happening in the Lehigh Valley is special, driven in large part by the strength of the region’s workforce and its growing ability to attract new talent.

With over 345,000 people in the labor market representing all skill levels, the region’s ability to satisfy the demands of today’s employers is strong. Wages are very affordable compared with the region, offering companies the ability to access the nation’s best employees at a low cost.

People come to Lehigh Valley to connect to community, enjoy a high standard of living at a low cost, and tap into a rich history of innovation. As one of Pennsylvania’s fastest-growing regions, the area has seen steady population growth in the 18-34 age demographic. In fact, that group now makes up over 45% of the current labor force.

Companies that come to Lehigh Valley enjoy the most affordable place in the most attractive market in the country, take advantage of a balanced economy run by innovation, and can recruit the talent they need from the thousands of skilled new arrivals each year and the thousands of college graduates the region produces each year.

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Lehigh ValleyQuick Facts

By the Numbers
$40.1 Billion

Gross Domestic Product

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City Center Lehigh Valley
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11% of Labor Force
Employed in Manufacturing

By the Numbers
$3.65 Billion

Exports

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Air Products
By the Numbers
$62,489

Median Household Income

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PPL Electric Utilities
By the Numbers
26,000

New Jobs Created Over Past 5 Years

By the Numbers
669,899

Population

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Olympus
By the Numbers
345,260

Labor Force

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Lutron Electronics
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26.1% of Labor Force
Employed in "Eds & Meds" sectors

By the Numbers
5,073

Technology Patents

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Mack Trucks
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UGI
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NFI
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14% of the total community college degrees awarded in PA

By the Numbers
$7.4 Billion

Manufacturing Contribution to GDP

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BB&T
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69th largest metropolitan area in the U.S. by population

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Seedcopa
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10,328 degrees awarded by colleges and universities

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Fuling
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81,000 employed in "Eds & Meds" sectors

By the Numbers
26.97%

Population between ages 18 and 34

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