Allentown is on the top 20 list of towns to see a jump in job growth in early 2015 – a huge boost for the city where 27.8 percent of residents live under the poverty line and 4.8 percent are unemployed.
Allentown shares the number 11 spot with Dallas, Texas; Jacksonville, Florida; Knoxville, Tennessee; San Antonio, Texas; and Wichita, Kansas. The towns are expected to see a 17 percent increase in employment during the first quarter of 2015, according to a comprehensive list by Manpower Group.
“Staffing plans are much stronger than quarter 4 when the net employment outlook was [7 percent],” said Manpower spokesman Michael Pinkasavage.
The increase in employment comes after a welcomed, steady decrease of unemployment in Pennsylvania.
Allentown’s mayor credits the city’s investment in the downtown with the rise in job growth.
“We have invested over a billion dollars worth of new development and millions in office space. We have close to a thousand new jobs that have been created here,” Allentown Mayor Ed Pawlowski said. “So far this has been a dramatic change for the positive over the course of the last several years and we hope to see more to come.”
The survey included interviews more than 65,000 employers worldwide to gauge growth in 2015.
Employment in the Northeast has been more stagnant than other regions in the United States, according to data collected by the Manpower Group
While most industries report an increase in employment outlook, the Northeast reports the lowest percent of employers looking to increase staff and the highest percent of employers planning to decrease payroll in the first quarter.