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Lehigh Valley’s 2019 a Historic Year for Economic Growth, National Recognition

By Colin McEvoy on December 27, 2019

As the Lehigh Valley Economic Development Corporation (LVEDC) approaches the new decade, we’d like to take a moment to reflect on 2019, an historic year of economic growth and national recognition for the Lehigh Valley.

The past 12 months have seen continued growth for the regional economy. The Lehigh Valley’s gross domestic product has reached a record-high $41.2 billion, and the region saw significant year-over-year job growth. Both the GDP and job growth were driven in large part by manufacturing, the region’s second-largest sector in terms of economic output.

Additionally, Lehigh Valley has become one of the best markets in the country for homebuyers, particularly those between ages 18 and 35. The region saw steady growth in the millennial demographic in 2019, and was the fastest growing region in Pennsylvania for working age residents.

Lehigh Valley has been gaining national attention as well. Site Selection magazine recognized it as one of the top five fastest-growing regions with under a million people in the United States, and the single fastest-growing region of its size in the Northeast U.S. for a third consecutive year.

Additionally, LVEDC was named one of the Top 20 economic development corporations in the United States, Forbes magazine highlighted the region’s thriving manufacturing sector, and Lehigh Valley was the subject of a dedicated 26-page section in the Delta Air Lines in-flight magazine.

2019 also marked the launch of Made Possible in Lehigh Valley, a marketing campaign that seeks to increase outside awareness of the positive attributes Lehigh Valley has to offer, develop a positive image of the region, and market it as an attractive place to drive talent acquisition and retention.

The Made Possible in Lehigh Valley launch video was nominated for a Mid-Atlantic Emmy Award, and LVEDC has been highlighting regional testimonials on the Made Possible Instagram account. LVEDC also partnered with Discover Lehigh Valley on the release of an eight-page Lehigh Valley Relocation Guide via the Made Possible campaign.

It was also a big year for talent efforts in Lehigh Valley. LVEDC began 2019 with the creation of a new work group focused on the increased need for talent and other issues facing Lehigh Valley companies.

That group, working with the LVEDC Education and Talent Supply Council, helped launch Lehigh Valley’s first-ever internship summit, a new networking event for young professionals, and the creation of materials highlighting hot careers in Lehigh Valley.

2019 also saw the announcement, construction, or completion of several major business attraction/expansion projects, including:

LVEDC also hosted Lehigh Valley tours for international business representatives and commercial real estate brokers in 2019, hosted its Fall Signature Event with OraSure Technologies, won two International Economic Development awards, and was named the Lehigh Valley Nonprofit Organization of the 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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