Philadelphia has had a lot of firsts – from the first library to the first American flag, even the first cheesesteak. And although it has reached a rough patch, there is hope for the economy and residents of this great city.

It is important to understand the strengths and weaknesses as it relates to the individual and the metropolitan region when it comes to job growth. If one is lacking, then it affects the other. The good news for Philadelphia is that the two are working better together. Local authorities are increasing efforts to make jobs more available to the unemployed and continue growth opportunities to those who are employed. All the while, Philadelphia continues to improve upon its economic weaknesses. According to Moody Analytics of, some of Philly’s strengths include the concentration of well-regarded educational institutions and the city as a center for health care and medical research.

When it comes to health care, Philadelphia is the place to be. As the baby boomers are getting older and demanding more medical attention, the health care industry is experiencing continued growth. With health care companies dominating the top five employers in Philadelphia, according to the Economic Base Analysis by Principle Global Investors, it’s no wonder that this industry is doing well here. Lauren Mennen of stated that companies are expanding within, offering new roles to existing employees. In turn, more entry-level positions are opening up. This is good news for Philly residents, as the health care industry is greatly invested within the city, meaning many of these jobs will be available for the locals.

When the numbers are there, growth is there. Philadelphia has new job opportunities available and more to come. The Bureau of Labor Statistics has shown positive projections for the Philadelphia region this year. Several of the city’s metropolitan divisions gained nearly 24,000 jobs this year combined. The Philadelphia Metropolitan Division reported 69 percent of the area’s employment, the Camden Division 19 percent and the Wilmington Division 12 percent, according to reports by the BLS.

In the report, Philadelphia was one out of 12 of the nation’s largest metropolitan areas chosen for this statistical analysis, all of which experienced job growth over the year. These projections are estimated to remain consistent through 2014. Mining, logging and construction industries show consistent growth percentages for employment rates, as do the education and health services industries. These markets have considerable consistency throughout the charts as reported by the BLS.

University City is home to prestigious medical and academic institutions who are seeking local talent. The University City District’s West Philadelphia Skills Initiative (WPSI) is building potential within the local demographic to better serve employers and residents. Through community-based skills programs, residents of all ages learn industry talents necessary for jobs within the community. With companies building more jobs and residents gaining the skills they need for those jobs, the economic development of Philadelphia is sure to turn around quickly. 

Michelle Perez is a freelance writer staying on the pulse of all that’s new and exciting. Her work can be found on

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