There is much improvement in the decline of unemployment in the Philadelphia metro area in recent months, according to Jones Lang Lasalle, a financial and professional services firm that specializes in commercial real estate services and investment management.

The unemployment rate in the Philadelphia metro is now at 5.6 percent and lower than the national average of 6.3 percent. The strongest employment sectors are health care and education, as well as professional and business services. Around 15,200 jobs have been added in these areas in 2014 so far. The job market is strong and will stay sturdy through the end of the year.

There has been expansion in Philadelphia’s central business district, mostly for law firms, financial services firms, consulting companies, nonprofits, health care and education. Real estate is in demand in the University City area for these job markets.

Real estate development in Philadelphia is on a positive upswing with the recent start on the FMC Tower at Cira Centre South, located on Walnut Street in the University City area. FMC is one of the leading chemical companies in the nation. The new construction will add 622,000 square feet of space by 2016. There is also new construction happening at the Navy Yard in the Grey’s Ferry section of the city and the new Comcast Technology and Innovation Center on Arch and Market Street is projected to open in 2017.

Just outside of the city, the need for new construction is growing due to the fact that 60 percent of the office space in the metro area is over 30 years old. Renovation is in great demand as the need for class A products will be in great need. The growth in Class A construction will continue to grow and flow into Class B vacancies.

With the improving economy and job demands in health care and education, as well as professional and business services, the outlook for a healthy economy in Philadelphia looks very good for 2014. Continued real estate development and redevelopment assures recovery in Philadelphia real estate as well.

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

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