The unemployment rate is 7.5% as of July 2013 in the Philadelphia metropolitan area. The U.S. Labor Department recently reported that initial unemployment insurance claims have fallen to 330,500 a week on average. Numbers haven’t been this low since November 2007, since just before the recession hit.

Regional manufacturing conditions improved in July, according to the Business Outlook Survey.  Around 52 percent of firms are expected to increase in activity over the next six months, up 45 percent in June. Shipments and new orders have also been reported to be rising.

According to the Census Bureau, permits issued for residential building between June 2013 to July 2013 increased 24 percent in Pennsylvania, 23 percent in New Jersey, and 8 percent in Delaware. Permits for single-family units rose in all three states and the nation.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, reports in the beginning of August claim retail trade added over 45,000 jobs in July. This growth occurred in general merchandise stores, auto parts dealers, building supply stores, gardening  supply stores, and pharmacies. Employment in the hospitality industry such as; food services, bars and restaurants, increased in July by 38,000. The wholesale trade industry has gone up to 83,000 jobs in July. Job growth has continued in professional services such as management, IT consulting services and in temporary employment in the month of July. Job growth in manufacturing and healthcare have remained the same.

According to the Office of Controller’s monthly economic report, wages for entry-level job positions in Philadelphia increased from $21,395 in June 2008 to $31,290 in June 2013.  The mean wage increased by $14,000 during the same period, from $57,281 to $71,300.

Business’ in South Jersey have increased their business activity in July. The index of regional general business conditions increased from 9.5 to 23.3, its highest since 2005, according to the Business Outlook Survey.

New jobs were added in the tri-state area in the month of July with  Delaware adding the most at  2,800 net job. For the last year, the economy has been growing in Delaware and New Jersey at the nation’s pace, but slightly slower for Pennsylvania.

According to the Federal Reserve Bank, Pennsylvania will see begin to see greater improvement in the first part of 2014.

Christina Thompson is a freelance travel writer living in Philadelphia. Her work can be found at

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