Economic Overview

Sailboat © Cape May County Tourism Southern New Jersey continues to experience significant economic headwinds as business activity remains at greatly reduced levels.  A lackluster national economy and a constrained consumer have contributed to the malaise.  Moreover, competition with out of state gaming venues over the past two years has taken its toll on gaming and tourism related jobs, particularly in Atlantic City.   Hot and humid weather conditions, during the recent peak summer season have brought more visitors to the beaches, signaling a more prosperous year for industry outside of gaming.

A bright spot in the economy included the success stories achieved in the aviation regional industry cluster.  In the past year, Cumberland County received statewide attention when Boeing moved its Chinook Helicopter facility to the Millville Airport.  An estimated 125 highly skilled technical jobs are expected to be created as it ramps up its operation.  In addition, the Next Generation Aviation Initiative gained traction when the new 58-acre Technology Park, located on the campus of the William J. Hughes Technical Center, started construction in December  2009.  In the summer of 2010, the FAA awarded nearly $5 billion in new contracts to private industry to create the new satellite based air traffic control system.

As the nation and the state emerge from what has been considered the harshest economic downturn since the “Great Depression,” coupled with a financial meltdown, new industries will emerge and existing ones will transition to a more competitive and sustainable model.  The southern New Jersey region appears to be poised to move toward a new vision, which will yield a more stable and sustainable economic environment.