Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS)

In March 2022, DVRPC secured Economic Development District (EDD) designation from the Economic Development Administration (EDA) of the U.S. Department of Commerce.  While EDA is the main economic development agency of the federal government and works with EDDs throughout the country to promote regional cooperation and job growth, DVRPC is the designated liaison between EDA and our member counties and constituent communities. The primary purpose of the EDD is to implement the economic development activities and priorities set forth in the region’s CEDS.

Adopted in 2019, Growing Greater Philadelphia, the Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS) is the region's strategy-driven framework to increase economic productivity, diversify local wealth, improve the culture for underrepresented businesses, and increase individual prosperity for the region's residents. This CEDS covers a nine-county region—Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, and Philadelphia in Pennsylvania, and Burlington, Camden, Gloucester, and Mercer in New Jersey. The CEDS was developed through guidance and support of the Economic Development Committee made up of public-and private-sector representatives.

CEDS Indicators

Over-the-year employment increased by 88,800 jobs (3.2 percent) in the Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington (Philadelphia) Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) and 10,300 jobs (3.8 percent) in the Trenton-Mercer County Area. Comparatively, national over-the-year employment increased by 3.9 percent. The largest employment percentage increase was in the Leisure and Hospitality industry for both areas: in the Philadelphia MSA, the industry added 23,100 jobs (+11.5 percent) and in Trenton, the industry added 1,500 jobs (+15.2 percent).

The unemployment rate declined once again in both areas, going from 5.7 percent in September to 5.1 percent in the Philadelphia MSA and 5.1 percent in September to 4.4 percent in Trenton. This matches the trend nationally as the unemployment rate went from 4.6 percent in September to 4.3 percent in October.

The inflation rate in the Philadelphia MSA is up 5.6 percent from last year, compared to 6.2 percent nationally. In October, the DVRPC region authorized 1,097 new housing units, resulting in 15,927 authorized new housing units in the region since January.

Disclaimer: charts and figures updated daily

Over-the-Year Inflation Rate

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

Unemployment Rate

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

New Housing Units Authorized by Month

Source: U.S. Census Bureau

Note: a huge influx of permits in Philadelphia prior to the 10-year Tax Abatement changing led to an outlier in new housing units authorized for December 2021

At-Place Employment by Industry Group,

Philadelphia MSA Trenton MSA

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, Not Seasonally Adjusted

One-Year Employment Change by Industry Group,

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, Not Seasonally Adjusted

Two-Year Employment Change by Industry Group,

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, Not Seasonally Adjusted


Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA): An MSA is an area with at least one urban core and 50,000 total inhabitants. Each MSA is made up of one or more counties. The Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington MSA (Philadelphia MSA) is comprised of Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, and Philadelphia County in Pennsylvania; Burlington, Camden, Gloucester, and Salem County in New Jersey; New Castle County in Delaware; and Cecil County in Maryland. The Trenton-Princeton MSA is comprised of Mercer County in New Jersey.

Use of MSA instead of counties in region: depending on the data source and its variables, some data is not available at the county level. When this is the case, we use the MSA-level data as a proxy for the DVRPC region. Additionally, since the Trenton-Princeton MSA is relatively small, there are times where data is not available for this geography, and in those cases we only show the Philadelphia MSA data.


Over-the-year: change from one year to the other. For example, the change in industry employment from October 2020 to October 2021.

New Housing Units Authorized: these are development projects that have received permits but have not yet been built.

Measuring Community Distress

U.S EDA regulations classify jurisdictions as “distressed” if the most recently available per capita personal income is 80 percent or less than the national average; the average unemployment rate over the most recent 24-month period for which data is available is at least one percentage point greater than the national average; or the area has a “special need,” as determined by U.S. EDA.

National Economic Resilience Data Explorer (NERDE)

The U.S. EDA and Argonne Lab developed the National Economic Resilience Data Explorer (NERDE) to help economic development practitioners conduct local economic recovery analysis. The NERDE provides data on economic distress criteria, COVID-19 impacts to local economies, and industry clusters. The data is searchable at the county or Economic Development District (EDD) level.

Stats America

StatsAmerica provides economic data, distress indicators, and development metrics to assist with grant writing and strategic planning.