April 13, 2021

Quarterly Philadelphia Labor Market Report

Quarterly Philadelphia Labor Market Report

As part of our 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 this edition, the Quarterly Labor Market Report discusses the changing nature of the COVID-19 economic recovery, highlighting continued improvements in hard-hit industry sectors

Executive Summary

  • Philadelphia continues its steady recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic and economic crisis. Despite recent improvements, the total number of employed residents remains down by more than 21,000 workers compared to pre-pandemic levels.
  • By industry, the Transportation and Professional Services sectors have both experienced net increases in regional employment since the pandemic began. As of February 2022, nearly two years since the pandemic started, these two sectors have added a combined total of roughly 25,000 jobs to the regional economy.
  • Philadelphia employers continue to show strong demand for workers. From January to March 2022, employers in Philadelphia advertised more than 70,000 unique open positions, an increase of nearly 6,500 compared to the previous quarter. As seen throughout the pandemic, demand remains strongest for higher-skill occupations that generally require a bachelor’s degree or higher. This trend contrasts with the positions lost throughout the pandemic, which were overwhelming lower-skill and lower-wage.
  • Following national trends, the cost of labor in Philadelphia has increased as wages and salaries rise under demand pressures. Wages in the third and fourth quarters of 2021 were roughly 4% higher than the previous year. Nationally, increases have been most significant in the Leisure and Hospitality sector. Overall, despite these increases, wage growth has not kept pace with quickly rising inflation.