The economic outlook for New Jersey in 2019 is positive, but the future of one county in particular looks bright.

According to Rutgers University economist James Hughes, Middlesex County, because it is close to New York City, is one of the fastest growing Counties in the entire Garden State.

He recently delivered a presentation to the Middlesex County Regional Chamber of Commerce on the economic outlook for Middlesex for this year.

“The counties closest to New York City have the strongest population growth, and that’s important because New York is one of the national economic dynamos," he said.

He pointed out Middlesex also has good public transportation links to the Big Apple, but beyond its proximity to New York, the county itself has several unique features.

“It has a very powerful higher education healthcare complex in New Brunswick that has been growing quite substantially,” he said. “It is also a prime location for distribution fulfillment centers and the like, and that is the hot real estate sector in the State of New Jersey.”

Hughes pointed out Middlesex also has a number of suburban job opportunity clusters.

“Part of the Route 1 office complex is in Middlesex County, so that provides job opportunities," Hughes said. "Interstate 287, that office corridor provides job opportunities."

He said Middlesex, along with Bergen, Morris and Hudson “are really sort of part of the leading edge of the New Jersey economy.”

And the county should enjoy positive momentum going forward, Hughes said.

“The basic forces that have propelled Middlesex County really in the post-recession period are still very strong — those will stimulate growth going forward through 2019,” Hughes said. “Middlesex County is blessed with a great geographic position, and I think all of the economic metrics reveal that it’s doing well.”

You can contact reporter David Matthau at

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