The latest data released by the U.S. Census Bureau involving national and Lehigh Valley commercial real estate markets shows Pennsylvania continues struggling to lure new industries and working age residents. The U.S. population aged 20-64 increased by 0.25 percent last year, but of Pennsylvania’s 67 counties, only seven surpassed this growth rate and 55 experienced net declines.
The highest levels of working-age population growth (ages 20-64) in the U.S. commercial real estate market – including Lehigh Valley industrial space – occurred in the counties surrounding Philadelphia.
This CoStar Realty Information Inc. report involving U.S. and Lehigh Valley commercial properties is being made available through Lehigh Valley commercial real estate broker Wolf Commercial Real Estate, a Lehigh Valley commercial real estate brokerage firm.
Lehigh Valley is the state’s fastest growing region for working-aged adults. The county grew by 0.5 percent in 2018, adding over 1,000 residents. The region and its U.S. and Lehigh Valley commercial real estate listings have benefited tremendously from the logistics boom, adding around 16,000 transportation jobs this decade, doubling the number of transportation workers.
The latest population figures among national and Lehigh Valley commercial real estate properties don’t surprise Lehigh Valley Economic Development Council President and CEO Don Cunningham.
“A lot of our growth has been from young people,” Cunningham said in speaking of the U.S. commercial real estate market – including Lehigh Valley industrial space. “Thirty percent of the population in our cities is between 18 and 34, and we have a lot of young people moving into the area for the jobs.”
Cunningham believes trucking is playing a role, but that other factors among national and Lehigh Valley commercial real estate listings are at play in the Lehigh Valley as well.
“Distribution is definitely our fastest growing employment sector, but our biggest employers are in finance, insurance, and real estate, as well as advanced manufacturing,” Cunningham said. “It doesn’t hurt that we’re also an hour and a half from New York City and Philadelphia.”
This logistics growth is likely fueling central and northeast Pennsylvania’s population gains. In counties like Monroe, York and Lebanon, the trucking and distribution industries are generating new blue-collar jobs sorely lacking in other parts of the state. This growth helps to attract residents from nearby counties, and helps local families remain in their hometowns rather than move to other parts of the country in search of viable employment. – By Adrian Ponsen and Ben Atwood, CoStar Realty Information Inc.
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