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Local Specialization, Competitiveness & Growth

By LVEDC Staff on April 8, 2014

LVEDC logo smallEDITOR’S NOTE: The following is taken from the Competitive Realities report that was created for LVEDC by Jay Garner of Garner Economics of Atlanta, Ga. This segment covers the “Local Specialization, Competitiveness & Growth” of our region.

Below are general observations from an in-depth analysis of industry sectors, occupational groups, and industry clusters in Lehigh Valley. This information is not benchmarked to other communities:

Over the last five years, the largest absolute employment gains came from Health Care & Social Assistance (up 5,758 jobs or 12 percent). Other significant gains were made in Transportation & Warehousing (up 4,567 jobs or 32 percent) and Arts, Entertainment & Recreation (up 3,877 jobs or 54 percent).

The greatest job losses have come from the Construction industry sector, down 2,758 jobs or 15 percent. The majority of remaining absolute losses came from Government (down 1,858 jobs or 5 percent) and Information (down 1,679 jobs or 24 percent).

Lehigh Valley’s industrial average earnings significantly exceed the national same-industry average in only two industries: Utilities and Management of Companies.

Earnings gaps, where Lehigh Valley’s industry averages are notably lower than in the nation, exist in Finance & Insurance; Information; Professional, Scientific & Tech Services; and Real Estate.

Over the last five years, the largest absolute occupational gains came from Transportation & Material Moving (up 2,904 jobs or 12 percent). Other significant gains were made in Personal Care & Service (up 2,368 jobs or 18 percent) and Healthcare Practitioners & Technical (up 1,699 jobs or 9 percent).

Lehigh Valley’s occupational average earnings significantly exceed the national average in four areas: Military; Education, Training & Library; Building and Grounds & Maintenance; and Management.

The Transportation & Logistics cluster has experienced the strongest growth (up 4,425 jobs over the last five years) and has a high degree of local specialization (location quotient of 1.69). Another cluster with strong growth and high specialization is Healthcare & Life Sciences. The Electrical Equipment & Component Mfg. cluster demonstrates the highest measure of local specialization with a location quotient of 2.61.

The three clusters demonstrating the strongest local competitive effect are: Transportation & Logistics; Arts, Entertainment, Recreation & Visitor Industries; and Healthcare & Life Sciences.

Using standard major industry classifications, the Management of Companies industry sector demonstrates the highest degree of local specialization with a location quotient of 2.4. Health Care & Social Assistance and Transportation & Warehousing both experienced strong growth and exhibit high local specialization.

Using standard major industry classifications, a strong local competitive effect is exhibited in four industry sectors: Transportation & Warehousing; Arts, Entertainment & Recreation; Health Care & Social Assistance; and Manufacturing.

Three occupational groups share high specialization and strong growth: Transportation & Material Moving, Healthcare Practitioners & Technical, and Healthcare Support.

NEXT WEEK: Major industry sector composition, total employment, unemployment, and cost of living.

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Lehigh ValleyQuick Facts

By the Numbers
$43.3 Billion

2020 Gross Domestic Product

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City Center Lehigh Valley
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10.6% of Labor Force
Employed in Manufacturing

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Lehigh Valley Health Network
By the Numbers
$3.8 Billion

Exports in 2019

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Air Products
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Lehigh Valley Electricians
By the Numbers
$66,865

Median Household Income

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PPL Electric Utilities
By the Numbers
676,700

Population

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Olympus
By the Numbers
347,612

Labor Force

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26.6% of Labor Force
Employed in "Eds & Meds" sectors

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5,073

Technology Patents

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

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Wells Fargo
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$7.1 Billion

Manufacturing Contribution to GDP

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Truist
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69th largest metropolitan area in the U.S. by population

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Key Bank
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10,754 degrees awarded by Lehigh Valley colleges (2017-18 academic year)

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St. Lukes University Health Network
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82,270 employed in "Eds & Meds" sectors

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Workforce Board
By the Numbers
149,000

Population between ages 18 and 34

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FirstEnergy