Harrisburg Regional Chamber and CREDC Completes Regional Economy Baseline Analysis to Guide Equitable Economic Growth

First analysis in 20 years; determines Harrisburg-Carlisle MSA is job center with strong labor recovery; looks more like PA’s big urban centers than neighboring MSAs

Harrisburg, Pa. (August 17, 2022)– The Harrisburg Regional Chamber and Capital Regional Economic Development Corporation (CREDC) today released a completed Economic Baseline Analysis of the Harrisburg-Carlisle Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) (which covers Cumberland, Dauphin, and Perry counties) to inform and guide equitable economic growth in the region.

By looking at years of data, the team of economists at the Center for Regional Analysis discovered several themes that can better frame how we view our region’s economy. Most critically, the analysis found that due to a density of high-paying, professional service jobs, the Harrisburg-Carlisle MSA is a job center in southcentral Pennsylvania and has emerged from the pandemic with a strong labor recovery. Harrisburg’s economic mix is closer to that of Pennsylvania’s largest urban MSAs (Philadelphia and Pittsburgh) than neighboring and peer MSAs. It is the first regional work of its kind in more than 20 years.

A webinar reviewing the study will be held Tuesday, August 30, 2022, at 11:00AM. To register, visit: harrisburgregionalchamber.org/EconomicAnalysisWebinar

“We are a data-driven organization that works every day to tell our region’s story,” said Harrisburg Regional Chamber & CREDC President and CEO Ryan Unger. “This analysis gives us the opportunity to showcase the concrete economic drivers behind what makes the Harrisburg region one of the best places in Pennsylvania to live. At the same time, as our region continues to grow at a pace faster than that of many regions, we must do so in an equitable way. This review lays the groundwork for us to take those important steps in partnership with our fellow stakeholders.”

Key findings for the Harrisburg Capital Region (HCR) in the analysis include:

  • HCR closely follows the movements of PA’s largest metropolitan areas and with less volatility compared to neighboring MSAs. Its sector composition, especially with Business and Professional Services as its key industry, plays an important role in distinguishing it from neighboring MSAs.​

  • While the government sector plays an important role in HCR, its contribution to GDP has declined over time. Private sector industries have driven growth, offsetting GDP loss attributed to a smaller public sector.​

  • HCR has a highly diversified relationship with job markets in the region. Its businesses are able to draw on talent from areas beyond Central PA. ​

  • HCR’s economy has some challenges in building inclusivity. Fewer than one in five enterprises are non-white owned, and diverse owned businesses are under-represented in its largest and fastest growing sector, Business and Professional Services.

  • HCR’s economic vitality appears strong. It has a robust labor force, with labor force participation rates helping to mitigate population dynamics with a large percentage of the population having access to affordable housing.

To view the full Economy Baseline Analysis please click here.

On August 30th, the Harrisburg Regional Chamber & CREDC hosted a webinar with President & CEO Ryan Unger and Economist Naomi Young to take an in-depth analysis. Click here to view the webinar.

About Harrisburg Regional Chamber & CREDC

Harrisburg Regional Chamber & CREDC serves as a catalyst for promoting growth and quality of life in Cumberland, Dauphin and Perry Counties through bold leadership, visionary members and powerful results. Building on its 136-year history, the organization provides a unique blend of business, community/economic development and advocacy services under one roof to boost economic vitality and livability across the region. The Chamber & CREDC is 5-star accredited by the United States Chamber of Commerce, a distinction achieved by less than five percent of chambers across the nation.

About the Center for Regional Analysis

Launched in early 2018, the Center for Regional Analysis (CRA) is the premier source of insight into the economic conditions and market issues that drive our local economy and impact the growth of regional communities and businesses. Established by the Economic Development Company of Lancaster County, the Center provides economic insights and data analytics to guide decisions that drive market performance and growth for private businesses and for policy makers.

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