Snapshot of Philly's labor market
With fresh debate brewing in Washington over jobs, here are some basics about the Philadelphia region's labor market. According to state and local figures (which may differ slightly from federal figures):
- Philadelphia's labor force officially numbered 644,100 people in July, of whom 574,600 had jobs. The remaining 69,500 jobseekers (those actively looking for work) accounted for the city's unemployment rate of 10.8 percent, highest among all PA counties.
has persistently higher-than-average
unemployment due partly to "structural unemployment," or a mismatch of worker skills and types of
jobs available in the city. That is less of a problem across the 11-county
region, where the overall unemployment rate has been below the
national average for the past two decades, according to a new study by
the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia (PDF).
the first quarter of 2011, city-based employers posted 34,616 "help wanted"
advertisements, 69 percent more than a
year earlier. The biggest number of advertisements was for "management" positions. The smallest was for "construction and extraction" jobs.
- Despite posting more ads, employers hired fewer people. Service-sector employers hired 19,700 in the first quarter, 12 percent fewer than a year earlier. Professional and technical employers were one exception, hiring about 3,100 people, 11 percent more than a year earlier.
Study: tax dollars saved by hiring ex-offenders
A new study (PDF) by the Economy League of Greater Philadelphia estimates that the city government would save at least $2 million a year in court and law-enforcement costs if 100 ex-offenders would get jobs after release and not commit new crimes. And the ex-offenders themselves would earn at least $1.2 million a year, in turn generating more tax revenue for the city. The study, which does not delve into the cost of jobs programs for ex-offenders, was conducted at the city's request with private funding. It notes that other studies have estimated the unemployment rate of ex-offenders in urban areas at around 60 percent.
Jail-crowding case settled, but issues remain
Philadelphia has promised to take additional steps to reduce jail over-crowding, as part of a settlement approved last month in a long-running federal civil rights lawsuit. The class-action case centered on the Philadelphia Prison System's housing of three inmates
in cells built for two. The practice continues, but the number of inmates has declined significantly due to reforms, including some cited in our recent report. However, big challenges remain. The inmate population rose to 8,286 in September from 7,679
in March. And a plan to expand temporary bed space – a plan cited favorably by the court in the settlement order – has
Center City growth spills over to adjacent areas
A new report (PDF) by the Center City District says that strong growth in the city's downtown core is reverberating in adjacent areas that it calls "Extended Center City." In Fairmount, Northern Liberties, Passyunk Square, Queen Village and Graduate Hospital, people aged 18-34 now account for a quarter of all residents, up from 18 percent a decade ago. More residents in those areas now have bachelor's degrees. To keep them in the city, the report argues, the quality of public schools must improve; many of these residents have young children or soon will.
Metro Philly still majority white
As our June report highlighted, the city of Philadelphia is becoming increasingly diverse in ethnic and racial terms. But the metropolitan area remains less diverse than some other large regions. According to Census data, non-Hispanic whites accounted for 65 percent of the population of the 11-county Philadelphia metropolitan area in 2010, while 57 percent was the average for the nation’s 100 largest metros. Among the regions in which non-Hispanic whites became a minority in the last decade are New York, Washington, San Diego, Las Vegas and Memphis. The analysis was done by the Metropolitan Policy Program at the Brookings Institution.
Philly not alone on public employment cuts
The number of people working for state and local governments around the country last year fell 1.2 percent from a year earlier, to 16.6 million people. These Census Bureau figures show that many jurisdictions have coped with weakened revenue streams by making modest reductions in staff. In Philadelphia, the latest numbers show a similar trend. As of June 30, the city general fund had 22,020 employees, also down 1.2 percent from a year earlier.
70,000 empty desks: The Philadelphia School District is soon to announce closings of up to several dozen school buildings. Sign up to receive an alert when we release our report next month on the experiences of six other cities in closing their school buildings.
Less Crowded, Less Costly Jails: Reforms in sentencing and court procedures have helped reduce Philadelphia’s jail population and resulted in cost savings. Read our July report (PDF) or watch our webinar.
Philadelphia 2011: The State of the City: Printed copies of our popular statistical round-up are available free of charge. To request a copy, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org with your name and address.
|Upcoming Public Events
Sept. 6-28: Series of Fair Housing Commission meetings. Details here.
Sept. 19: Police Advisory Commission meeting. Details here.
Sept. 20: Zoning Code public discussion with Councilman Bill Green, PennPraxis and others. Details here.
Sept. 20: City Planning Commission monthly meeting. Details here.
Sept. 21: Philadelphia Commission on Parks and Recreation meeting. Details here.
Sept. 21: Board of Ethics meeting. Details here.
Sept. 21: School Reform Commission action meeting. Details here.
Sept. 21: Philadelphia Federal Reserve conference on Philadelphia's approach to foreclosure prevention. Details here.
Oct. 6: The Enterprise Center's gala honoring minority entrepreneurs. Details here.
Oct. 14: Philadelphia Historical Commission monthly meeting. Details here.
| Our Most-Read Reports
Philadelphia 2011: The State of the City. Read.
Philadelphia's Less crowded, Less Costly Jails: Taking Stock of a Year of Change and the Challenges That Remain
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