ISSUE 112 | June 23, 2021
The Institute is an economic research and applied research and consulting group that provides customized client solutions and strategies to facilitate decision making and planning that enhances growth, impact, and sustainability for organizations.
From Around the Region and the State
Economic and Policy News
NEPA’s residential real estate market attracting buyers 
Anecdotal reports from real estate professionals indicate strong demand for homes, along with rising home prices.

Data confirms these increases during the COVID-19 pandemic, suggesting enhanced migration (more people moving into the region).

Greater availability of remote work and the high cost of living in many large cities likely contribute to this reshuffling.

Region needs talent development, attraction, and retention initiative
The global coronavirus pandemic has had a devastating and unprecedented impact on economies and labor forces across the United States.

Prior to that impact, Northeast Pennsylvania had already been struggling with economic challenges such as:

  • low wages
  • shortages of skilled workers
  • difficulty attracting and retaining talent

It is important that community stakeholders begin to develop a strategy to address these challenges while accounting for any long-term economic effects from the pandemic. 

Water quality testing reveals high rates of PFAs 
Widespread testing of both well water and public water systems in Pennsylvania show higher combinations of perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAs) than recommended by the federal government.

PFAS are found in items such as nonstick cookware, fast food wrappers, and carpets.

They can cause cancers and other health issues, and were deemed to be toxic more than a decade ago. 

From Around the Nation and the Globe
Economic and Policy News
Municipal finances jeopardized while need for public services increases
Municipal revenue is highly susceptible to fluctuations in wages and taxes.

COVID-19 heavily impacted municipal tax revenue, and the damage may continue for years.

Despite these challenges and uncertainties, cities must maintain or expand services while ensuring equitable delivery.

Health care gaps pervade communities of color
The COVID-19 pandemic illuminated major health care gaps in communities of color.

These gaps may be closed by building trust in the medical system and improving various facets of patient care.

Two health care professionals explored these issues in a recent PEW podcast. 

Michigan county using cannabis tax revenue to fund equity initiative
Washtenaw County officials recently approved a budget amendment allowing marijuana tax revenue to support the county’s Racial Equity Policy.

The revenue is likely to generate more than $200k annually.

The Board of Commissioners also passed resolutions condemning racially restrictive covenants and recognizing Juneteenth.

Research Institutions
Relaying Relevant News & Research to Local Stakeholders