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Philadelphia’s economy continues to navigate post-pandemic challenges and opportunities as it adapts to the “new normal.”

While overall employment remains robust, with levels at or beyond pre-COVID benchmarks in most industries, economic uncertainties such as inflation, rising interest rates, and labor shortages persist. Here are the key highlights for Q1 2024:

  • The unemployment rate in Philadelphia stood at 4.2% in March 2024,a slight increase from the previous year. Despite this, the number of unemployed individuals has risen by 2,866, totaling 32,196. Over Q12024, the unemployment rate has shown stability with minor fluctuations.
  • The total labor force in Philadelphia reached763,736 individuals, with an annual increase of 21,911.Total employment also grew to 732,540, reflecting an annual increase of 20,102.However, the labor force saw a modest upward trend into the new year following the previous quarter.
  • The Consumer Price Index (CPI) –a measure of inflation –has shown a gradual increase in early 2024, although it remains below 2022levels. Philadelphia’s CPI has been higher than the national average since June 2023. Wage growth in the private sector has decelerated, influenced by the Federal Reserve’s policies to curb inflation. Wage growth, which peaked in early 2022, saw a decline through 2023,reaching its lowest point in February 2024.
  • Geographic disparities in unemployment are notable, with higher unemployment rates concentrated in North, Northeast, and Southwest Philadelphia, indicating areas in need of targeted interventions and support programs. Individuals aged 25 to 34sawthe highest labor force participation rates, with significant engagement from both men and women in this cohort. Higher educational attainment correlates with higher participation and employment rates and lower unemployment rates.

Read the full report below.

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