July 11, 2022

Quarterly Philadelphia Labor Market Report

Quarterly Philadelphia Labor Market Report

Despite recent concerns that the United States economy is headed toward recession, job growth remains strong. Nationally, more than 370,000 jobs were added to payrolls in June. Locally, recovery trends also persist as employers maintain record levels of demand and new claims for unemployment compensation remain near record lows. If we are headed toward recession, it is unclear how this economic slow-down will affect the labor market, which has so-far proven to be resilient.

Executive Summary

  • By industry, the Transportation and Professional Services sectors have both experienced net increases in regional employment since the pandemic began. As of May 2022, more than two years since the pandemic started, these two sectors have added a combined total of roughly 26,000 jobs to the regional economy.
  • Philadelphia employers continue to show strong demand for workers. From April to June 2022, employers in Philadelphia advertised more than 86,000 unique open positions, an increase of nearly 17,000 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 overwhelmingly 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 first quarter of 2022 were roughly 5% 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.