April 13, 2021

Quarterly Philadelphia Labor Market Report

Quarterly Philadelphia Labor Market Report

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 this edition, the Quarterly Labor Market Report discusses the ongoing impacts of the COVID-19 employment crisis, highlighting recent improvements in hard-hit industry sectors.

Executive Summary

  • Philadelphia’s labor market continues to experience the effects of the COVID- 19 pandemic and economic crisis. As of February 2021, more than 66,000 Philadelphia residents have lost employment. Nevertheless, there are signs of improvement, with overall employment and labor force participation rising.
  • By industry, the Accommodation and Food Service sector has experienced the most significant impacts, losing more than 30,000 jobs since February 2020. As vaccination rates have increased, however, we have seen strong growth in service-sector employment.
  • Despite concentrated losses among low-wage and low-skill employment, demand remains strong for high-skill workers, especially in healthcare and information technology.
  • Beyond the current crisis, Philadelphia’s economy struggles with economic and racial injustice. By race and ethnicity, non-white Philadelphians continue to experience disproportionately negative employment outcomes.