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Which N.J. region is poised for big income growth? You may be surprised …

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Finally, New Jersey gets some good economic news.

With surveys blasting everything from small business friendliness to common-courtesy friendliness, it’s been a rough summer for the Garden State.

But now, an August survey on the 363 major American metro regions’ economies prepared for the U.S. Conference of Mayors found something interesting:

When it comes to predicted household income growth through 2017, there’s Lawrence, Kansas, and then there’s…

Ocean City.

That’s right, the seaside resort town came in second in the study, with an estimated median income growth of 5 percent from 2013 through 2017.

That is good for an increase from $59,100 per year to $71,900 per year for the economic heart of the Cape May County region. The median income is the point at which half the incomes in the metro region are higher, and half are lower.

Ocean City’s growth estimate far outstrips the estimates for the nation as a whole.

“As we have seen, median household income in the U.S. has been stagnant over the past two decades,” the report said. “But, with economic growth and job gains accelerating in 2014, we expect positive income gains going forward. In 2014 we project median household income to increase by 2.5 percent, and then by 3.8 percent per year from 2015 through 2017.”

And, to think, Ocean City doesn’t even have the advantage of being a staple of the oil and gas or high-tech industries, which many other cities in the Top 10 do.

By way of comparison, other New Jersey metro areas’ median income growth estimates came in at:

  • Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington (Pennsylvania/New Jersey/Delaware/Maryland), from a median of $60,800 in 2013 to $70,100 in 2017; 3.6 percent growth
  • Allentown-Bethlehem-Easton (Pennsylvania/New Jersey), $56,600 to $65,200; 3.6 percent
  • Vineland-Millville-Bridgeton (New Jersey), $45,300 to $52,100; 3.6 percent
  • Trenton-Ewing (New Jersey), $65,800 to $75,300; 3.4 percent
  • New York-Northern New Jersey-Long Island (New York/New Jersey), $64,700 to $73,600; 3.3 percent
  • Atlantic City-Hammonton (New Jersey), $50,900 to $57,000; 2.9 percent

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Eric Strauss

Eric Strauss

Eric Strauss is the digital content editor for NJBIZ. He has been a reporter and editor for newspapers in New Jersey and Pennsylvania, as well as for a number of websites. You can contact him at erics@njbiz.com or @acerimrat on Twitter.

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