Investments Are Surging in These US Counties

By: Anneken Tappe · February 16, 2024 · Reading Time: 2 minutes

Building Boom

There’s a building boom underway in America — but not where you might expect.

Counties with lower employment rates that have been left behind by overall economic growth have seen an influx of private investment spurred by government incentives, according to a report from the Brookings Institute.

Strategic Sector Surge

Recent federal legislation including the Inflation Reduction Act, the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, and the CHIPS and Science Act offer incentives to invest in sectors considered essential to America’s economic growth. That’s why private investments in “strategic sectors”, such as clean energy, semiconductors, and biomanufacturing, have seen a surge in money coming in.

And economically distressed communities are receiving a lot of this cash. Brookings defines these counties as having a median household income below $75,000, and significantly higher unemployment rate for prime-age workers over the past five years.

Rebalancing the Economic Geography

To date, these types of investments have been concentrated in the southern states. For example, there’s a plan for a $4 billion hydrogen plant in Texas, courtesy of AES Corporation (AES) and Air Products (APD), while lithium-producer Albemarle (ALB) is investing $1.3 billion in a processing facility in South Carolina.

If these investment flows continue, they could rebalance the economic landscape and help revitalize counties that have been caught at the wrong end of economic expansion over the past years.

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