February 9, 2021

Quarterly Philadelphia Labor Market Report – February 2021

Quarterly Philadelphia Labor Market Report – February 2021

As part of its mission to develop and manage smart workforce solutions, Philadelphia Works conducts regular analysis on the state of Philadelphia’s labor market. This quarterly report offers insight into key measures of economic activity, providing leaders across public and private institutions an easy-to-access update on Philadelphia’s economy.  In its first edition, the Quarterly Labor Market Report discusses the ongoing impacts of the COVID-19 employment crisis, relying on the most recently available data for industry and occupational employment. Additional sections cover employer demand and the demographic characteristics of Philadelphia’s labor force. Future installments will mirror this edition’s layout and style but will be updated to reflect the most recent data and analysis.

Executive Summary

  • Philadelphia’s labor market continues to experience the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and economic crisis. As of November 2020, more than 50,000 jobs have been lost since the economic shutdown in March. Despite significant declines, there are signs of improvement, with overall employment rising and the city’s unemployment rate declining since their peaks this summer.
  • By industry, the Accommodation and Food Service sector has experienced the most significant impacts, losing more than 30,000 jobs during the second quarter of 2020. At the other end of the spectrum, employment in Professional Services, Information, and Utilities sectors saw very little change during the second quarter.
  • Beyond the current crisis, Philadelphia’s economy struggles with income inequality and racial inequities. By occupation, pre-COVID job growth was concentrated among low- and high-paying as well as low- and high-skill opportunities. By race and ethnicity, non-white Philadelphians continue to experience disproportionately negative employment outcomes.