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Leading Locations for 2013: The Mid-Atlantic MSAs

Encompassing Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania, the Mid-Atlantic region boasts a diverse industrial base that employs thousands at high-technology, life sciences, financial services, and agri-business firms. This region also includes the Greater Washington, D.C., metro area, with its large contingent of federal employees. In fact, the Washington, D.C., MSA is the top Leading Location in the Mid-Atlantic region.

Q2 / Spring 2013
The list of the top Mid-Atlantic cities is dominated by Pennsylvania MSAs — 5 of the top 15. State College, Pa., which is located within Centre County, is the region’s #2 Leading Location. This is not surprising considering it’s the location of the University Park campus of Penn State University. What’s more, the university offers a petroleum and natural gas engineering program and conducts research focused on the economic impact of the Marcellus Shale.

Employment and economic growth in many Pennsylvania communities is being attributed to development of the Marcellus Shale. For example, gas extracted by hydraulic fracking in communities surrounding Pittsburgh is creating jobs and driving up wages in the city, which has been called a “logistical hub” for the industry by Wells Fargo economists. This is a complete turnaround for a “Rustbelt” city that faced insolvency just a decade ago.

A 2011 study from the Marcellus Shale Coalition projects that Pennsylvania’s Marcellus Shale has the potential to produce 17.5 billion cubic feet of natural gas per day (6.4 trillion cubic feet annually) – representing nearly one-quarter of America’s annual natural gas production in 2020, according to U.S. Department of Energy estimates. Further, Marcellus development could support 256,420 jobs and generate $20 billion in added value to Pennsylvania’s economy by 2020. The #4 Leading Location in the Mid-Atlantic region, Ithaca — home to Ivy League Cornell University — sits atop New York State's part of the Marcellus Shale. However, New York’s Governor Cuomo has yet to rule on whether hydro fracking will be allowed in the state.

And the development of high technology in New York’s Capital Region of Albany-Schenectady-Troy earns that MSA a place on the region’s Top 15 Leading Locations list. The area is home to iconic companies like General Electric and IBM, as well as the State University of New York’s College of Nanoscale Science & Engineering and the GlobalFoundries semiconductor manufacturing facility.

    • City
    • State
    • 2010
    • Overall
    • 1.
    • Washington-Arlington-Alexandria (METROPOLITAN DIVISION)
    • DC-VA
    • 4,377,008
    • 27
    • Washington DC "DC" has one of the most diverse economies in the country. The federal government employs about one third of all workers in the city and provides contract work to hundreds of companies, especially in high-tech fields like aeronautics, defense, telecommunications, electronics, IT, and other services. Other important employment sectors are industry trade associations, financial groups, and scientific research through federal organizations, as well as top research universities and medical centers. Tourism, the second-largest industry in the city, is on the rebound — nearly19 million visitors pumped about $5 billion into the local economy last year.

      With all this activity, it is no surprise that economic development and commercial construction within the city are booming. According to the Washington, D.C., Economic Partnership's 12th annual DC Development Report, about 21.5 million square feet of commercial space is under construction, valued at about $9.5 billion. Residential construction is also hot, with over 10,000 units being built — the most since 2001.
    • 2.
    • State College
    • PA
    • 153,990
    • 33
    • 3.
    • Bethesda-Rockville-Frederick
    • MD
    • 1,205,162
    • 45
    • Washington DCMajor industries in the Bethesda MSA include telecommunications, energy, technology, defense, aerospace, and healthcare. Both the National Naval Medical Center and the National Institutes of Health are located in Bethesda. Also headquartered here is Lockheed Martin, a global aerospace and security firm that conducts cutting-edge research and development and works closely with the federal government on major projects.

      Bethesda is top-ranked for its educated, highly skilled work force. For example, the city has one of the highest per capita concentrations of doctorate degrees in the country. It ranked second in education according to Forbes 2012 "Best Places for Business and Careers" report. In March 2013, the city's unemployment rate was 5.1 percent.

      Located in Montgomery County, Maryland, Bethesda is one of the most important economic drivers in the Greater Washington area. In May 2013 Montgomery County reported its work force had increased by nearly 25,000 jobs since 2010, a 3.9 percent growth rate. About 20 percent of these new jobs were in professional, scientific, and technical services, making these sectors the county's top job gainers. Companies that added the most jobs in Bethesda include Capital One (300 jobs) and the Henry M. Jackson Foundation (200 jobs).
    • 4.
    • Ithaca
    • NY
    • 101,564
    • 66
    • 5.
    • New York-White Plains-Wayne (METROPOLITAN DIVISION)
    • NY-NJ
    • 11,576,251
    • 78
    • 6.
    • Pittsburgh
    • PA
    • 2,356,285
    • 64
    • 7.
    • Ocean City
    • NJ
    • 97,265
    • 125
    • 8.
    • Williamsport
    • PA
    • 1,116,111
    • 126
    • 9.
    • Trenton-Ewing
    • NJ
    • 366,513
    • 156
    • 10.
    • DE-MD-NJ
    • 705,670
    • 160
    • 11.
    • Albany-Schenectady-Troy
    • NY
    • 870,716
    • 170
    • 12.
    • Erie
    • PA
    • 280,566
    • 180
    • 13.
    • Philadelphia (METROPOLITAN DIVISION)
    • PA
    • 4,008,994
    • 191
    • 14.
    • Baltimore-Towson
    • MD
    • 2,710,489
    • 193
    • 15.
    • Glens Falls
    • NY
    • 128,923
    • 194

Leading Locations for 2013 Results

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