Economic Development

South Jersey Economic Gains are Positive, But There are Challenges

The opening of two new casinos and Stockton University Atlantic City and the growth of sports wagering in Atlantic City boosted the economy of South Jersey in 2018, but the challenge for 2019 will be to maintain that growth and continue to grow and diversify, according to the South Jersey Economic Review released through the William J. Hughes Center for Public Policy at Stockton University.

“Last year’s rate of job growth in Atlantic City was its best since the late 1980s, a period that saw robust job creation tied to that decade’s second wave of casino building,” said Stockton Associate Professor of Economics Oliver Cooke, editor of the review.

The review also includes an analysis of the Atlantic City gaming market by Anthony Marino.

Highlights of the review include:

–          Last year’s increase in the local labor force was the first since 2012. The local economy’s labor force had declined by nearly 20,000, or 14 percent, from 2012 to 2017.

–          Housing prices in the Atlantic City metropolitan area, which stabilized in 2017, increased by almost 7 percent in 2018.   In October 2018, the six-month moving average of housing permits climbed to 104, a level not seen since early 2007.

–          The future of internet gambling and sports wagering competition from neighboring states will likely not provide strong competition to New Jersey in 2019, but legislation in those states will likely generate new competition by 2020.

–          The real-estate/rental economy of the Ocean City metropolitan area will be heavily dependent on interest rates and consumer optimism. Ocean City home prices rose 3.6 percent in 2018.

–          An analysis of Stockton Atlantic City’s long-term impact on the city’s economy. The university’s largest long-term impact will like be on educational opportunities.

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