Another method of measuring the strength of an economy and the opportunities within it is to count the total number of employer businesses that exist. When an economy is strong, there are appropriate economic development supports, and when confidence is high, existing businesses are more likely to stay operating and within the region. What’s more, businesses from outside of the region are more likely to relocate here, and local entrepreneurs are more likely to start to grow a business. This indicator measures the total number of establishments in the area that have more than one employee.

Between 2014 and 2015, the Pioneer Valley region saw an increase of 825 employers, representing a rate of growth of 3.5%. While all three counties in the region experience similar trends, the largest area of growth was in Hampden County and within the urban core cities of Springfield and Holyoke.