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KADAC: Lehigh Valley Experiencing Rapid Growth, Tight Labor Market

by Janelle Hill Nov 1, 2018

The Lehigh Valley is in the midst of a very hot labor market.

That’s according to the Kamran Afshar Data Analytics Center at DeSales University (KADAC), which released its latest Lehigh Valley Business Sentiment Index.

“The Lehigh Valley is moving into very rapid growth in terms of employment,” said Dr. Kamran Afshar, director of KADAC. “A large number of companies are planning to hire and they’ve increased the number of people they’re planning to hire.” 

Afshar delivered the results along with students Tom Gallagher, Joe Malvestuto, and Katie Paparelli. He said the Lehigh Valley is now dealing with rapid growth, the likes of which it hasn’t seen since 2006-2007, just before the Great Recession. 

“Right now sentiment is great. Businesses are very happy with what is happening to the valley. The similarities with 2005, 2006, and 2007 are huge. This doesn’t mean that we expect 2008 to come.”  

According to Afshar, the local economy is in a better place than it was in 2006, the height of the pre-recession. The percentage of companies that are laying off people has also dropped to pre-Great Recession levels, while the percentage of companies that has hired in the last six months has exceeded its previous record. 

“We are looking at a very tight labor market,” said Afshar. “We are now officially in the fourth tight labor market in the last 40 years.”

He predicts that over the next six months, the economy will continue to improve, though maybe not as fast. Businesses in the Lehigh Valley also expect the economy to do as well if not better over that time period.