The Brookings Institution compiled data for the nation’s 100 largest metro areas to track the economic recession and recovery. Guess what they found? According to their indicators, the Allentown-Bethlehem-Easton area is in the 20 weakest metro areas based on economic performance! The data tracked the metro areas across 4 indicators: employment change, unemployment rate change, gross metropolitan product (GMP) change, housing price index (HPI) change. Let’s break it down by the numbers.
Overall Performance Recovery
Allentown-Bethlehem-Easton ranked 94/100
Employment Change (during the recovery)
Allentown-Bethlehem-Easton ranked 79/100. With a 0.8% change in employment, the area was placed in the Second-weakest 20 Metro Areas.
Unemployment Rate (during the recovery)
Allentown-Bethlehem-Easton ranked 53/100. With a 7.9% change in unemployment rates, the area was placed in the Middle 20 Metro Areas.
Gross Metropolitan Product Change (during the recovery)
Allentown-Bethlehem-Easton ranked 43/100. With a 5.94% change in GMP, the area was placed in the Middle 20 Metro Areas.
Change in Housing Prices (during the recovery)
Allentown-Bethlehem-Easton ranked ranked 94/100. With a 0.17% change in housing prices, the area was placed in the 20 Weakest Metro Areas.
So what can we do about it? We need to come together as a community to plan for a better, stronger, more revitalized future for the Valley. The Lehigh Valley’s economy may be slowly recovering, but we still have a long way to go. And our local and state governments can’t do it alone. They need your input. Add your thoughts here, contact your local officials, or voice your opinion at local meetings. Do you want the future of the Lehigh Valley to be determined by chance or by choice?