Labor Market Report for April 16th, 2021

The West Philadelphia Skills Initiative (WPSI) | Labor Market Report | November 5, 2020

Every other week, we will be publishing labor market industry (LMI) data and important trends to consider in the development of an equitable economic recovery from the COVID-19 crisis. We are always looking for opportunities to learn, grow, and collaborate. Email wpsi@universitycity.org to learn more.

 

Over the past several months, the number of new weekly job openings has begun to inch closer to pre-pandemic levels. Thanks to the warmer weather and thousands of new vaccinations each day, businesses are starting to feel optimistic about future demand and are increasing their staffing levels. At the end of March, this optimism pushed the total number of new weekly job postings above the total number of jobs posted in the weeks just before COVID-19 hit for the first time.

 

In the Philadelphia region, job postings continue to grow each week. In comparison with the same week in 2020, job postings in the city of Philadelphia were up over 40%, and up over 55% in the Philadelphia suburbs. The biggest gains have come in Health Care and Hospitality, two sectors hit hard early in the pandemic. Compared to the same week in 2020, there were well over double the number of health care jobs posted in the city for the week of March 28th – April 3rd, and nearly 3 times as many in the suburbs. The year-over-year increase is even more dramatic in the hospitality industry, with nearly three times as many jobs posted in that same 3/28 – 4/3 period compared to the same week in 2020.

 

While the news is optimistic, it’s important to note that the recovery has not been equal. The official national unemployment rate is hovering around 6%, while the unemployment rate among African Americans is closer to 11%. These numbers do not take into account those who have dropped out of the labor force over the past year and are no longer looking for work. Including those groups and other misclassifications, the real unemployment rate is likely over 9%. Women continue to lose jobs at a faster rate than men, with women of color hit the hardest. And despite strong job growth numbers in recent months, the U.S. economy still has around 8.4 million fewer jobs than it did in February of 2020. In addition to those 8.4 million jobs lost, economists believe there are roughly another 2 million new jobs that would have been created over the past year if hiring trends had continued.

 

So while the signs of recovery are promising, even if the economy continues to add jobs at the same rapid pace it has in recent months, we estimate it will take the job market close to a year to get back to pre-pandemic levels. If you’re interested in seeing a snapshot of the job market in our West Philadelphia community, visit our new roundup of local opportunities found here

 

Weekly Postings, March 28th - April 3rd 

Weekly Change 

Yearly Change

Industry 

Phila Metro 

Phila City 

Phila Suburbs 

Phila City 

Phila Suburbs 

Phila City 

Health Care & Social Assistance 

5805

986

184%

21%

142%

197%

Professional, Scientific & Tech Services 

722

421

9%

-11%

-42%

-49%

Retail Trade 

1404

198

21%

-6%

23%

19%

Finance & Insurance  

725

262

-5%

-10%

14%

21%

Accommodation & Food Service 

1039

330

-4%

-24%

278%

281%

Manufacturing 

1073

215

22%

6%

55%

55%

Administrative & Support & Waste Mgmt  

596

150

7%

-4%

23%

26%

Educational Services 

347

220

2%

-17%

-28%

-22%

Transportation & Warehousing 

414

110

29%

-6%

38%

47%

Information 

208

244

16%

41%

50%

22%

Other Services  

267

84

16%

17%

108%

101%

Public Administration 

215

118

-2%

-10%

33%

65%

Real Estate & Rental Leasing 

182

120

17%

28%

-10%

-29%

Construction 

187

61

-2%

0%

60%

99%

Arts, Entertainment & Recreation  

130

55

-6%

77%

176%

251%

Wholesale Trade 

87

14

2%

-30%

120%

107%

Utilities 

37

17

23%

55%

74%

32%

Mining, Quarrying and Oil & Gas  

25

9

56%

125%

100%

178%

Mgmt of Companies & Enterprises 

17

9

113%

200%

117%

240%

Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing and Hunting 

26

4

-10%

300%

329%

420%

Unspecified  

3130

1185

8%

-8%

8%

28%

Total 

16636

4812

38.9%

-0.8%

40.2%

55.7%

About the data: Data is sourced from Burning Glass Technologies Labor Insights, unless otherwise noted, covering job postings in the City of Philadelphia and the Philadelphia Metro Statistical Area (MSA), which is comprised of roughly a circle surrounding Trenton, Philadelphia, King of Prussia, Camden, and Wilmington. This data is then compared to a benchmark week of February 9th – 15th, which was the last week before the economic impact of COVID-19 began to be reflected in job posting data.

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