3 new reports that explain Philadelphia’s economic health right now
As Philly crosses the second year of the pandemic, its economy has shown signs of recovery. Industries like life sciences, for example, continue to show significant growth in the region. Meanwhile, with poverty still rampant, factors like inflation could negatively impact how residents can spend their money.
Three recent reports help frame the current state of Philly’s economy:
Philly’s economy is rebounding at a steady pace with the return of 43% of the jobs lost in the first months of the pandemic. Jobs increased by 1,700 in August 2021 and SEPTA ridership, hotel tax revenues and pedestrian activity along Market Street have all increased.
Still, the city’s employment recovery is occurring at a slower pace than in other neighboring counties and the United States as a whole. Until August, there were 70,900 fewer jobs in Philly compared to February 2020. Information and construction were the only two local industries with employment levels equal to or greater than before the pandemic.
Many professionals are still working remotely and conventions are only starting to return downtown. While solutions to the economic challenges of the pandemic remain a top priority, experts hope that tourists will return in large numbers and the hospitality industry will renew itself.
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According to this recent Economic League report, supply chain challenges brought on by the pandemic have caused inflation to fluctuate by 5% over the past year. This means that consumers have lost their purchasing power in a market already overwhelmed by poverty.
Inflation tends to affect those with the least purchasing power, as it limits their ability to buy basic necessities. While the stimuli and Child tax credit payments can help people facing poverty, such initiatives could cause inflation on a larger scale, as more people with purchasing power compete for limited assets.
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Eds and meds: Startup publishing continues to reign in Philadelphia, as real estate services firm JLL ranked the city ninth on its list of top life science clusters in the United States
Finding lab space for new businesses is a top priority. Of the city’s life science market inventory, less than 1 million square feet, or 14.1% of the existing market inventory, is under construction. Life sciences companies have performed well in virtually every market over the past 18 months, and as employees return to work in person in 2022, the industry is expected to grow. will develop even more.
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Michael Butler is a 2020-2022 corps member of Report for America, an initiative of the Groundtruth Project that pairs young journalists with local newsrooms. This position is supported by the Lenfest Institute for Journalism. -30-