The ramping up of vaccinations is laying the foundation for recovery for Philadelphia’s economy and for the vitality of Center City. CCD and CPDC’s monthly report documents how the pandemic negatively affected most sectors in the city with the greatest job losses in hotels, restaurants, bars, specialty retail, airlines, arts and entertainment. While telework enabled office, education and non-essential health care workers to connect remotely, keeping job losses at a minimum, their absence resulted in layoffs for janitorial, security and operations staff in office and campus buildings. Retail and restaurants were also deprived of almost half their customers, while transit ridership and Center City parking volumes are far below normal. Pedestrian counts in Center City remain at approximately 40% of pre-pandemic levels.
Mirroring national trends, Philadelphia gained jobs in January, but employment was still below January 2020. Initial unemployment claims for Philadelphia residents remain high and the city unemployment rate increased in January. By contrast, the housing market continues to show strength, with transactions and median sale prices higher than the pre-pandemic level. Permitting the safe and gradual return to office work is key to recovery.
For graphics, charts and a narrative of trends, download- Monitoring Philadelphia’s Economic Recovery, March 2021.