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Throughout the last year, there has been much discussion about office professionals, now free to work remotely, fleeing major cities for smaller cities or towns with bigger houses, cheaper real estate prices, and scenic views Naturally, the ability to work from home has changed the landscape for some workers, but is Philadelphia facing the same flight of workers that seems to be hitting New York and San Francisco?
The short answer is no. Philadelphia remains one of the most affordable (relatively speaking) big cities on the east coast, with housing prices far below that of Boston, New York City, or Washington DC, so there is less appeal to “flee” to a cheaper place. In fact, the data points to Philadelphia having a net gain of workers over the past year.
According to data from LinkedIn, Philadelphia was one of the primary destinations for workers leaving New York. Based on their analysis, 5.18 out of every 10,000 LinkedIn members moved from a job in NYC to a job in Philadelphia in the last 12 months. Looking at outflows, approximately 1 out of every 10,000 left Philadelphia for each of the following cities: Tampa, FL, Denver, CO, Atlanta, GA, and Fort Lauderdale, FL.
Data from Redfin, a national real estate brokerage, also points to an increase in users looking to move to Philadelphia, a trend that has only increased during the last year. Their data shows that the past 9 months have had the biggest net inflow of people to the city over the past 5 years. In comparison, New York City has seen a net outflow, with the last three quarters showing above 40,000 users looking to leave the city each quarter. Philadelphians are also likely to be searching for another home within the Philadelphia region, with only 18.4% of Redfin users looking in other metro areas.
Despite early fears of a mass exodus from cities, the data points to Philadelphia remaining a city where people want to live and work. With vaccination rates continuing to rise, city restrictions beginning to ease, and some workers starting to return to the office, the number of weekly job postings continues to rise. Back in May of 2020, job postings hit their lowest point during the pandemic. This month, job postings in several industries are more than double their levels from a year ago, signaling that businesses are continuing to anticipate an increase in demand for the remainder of 2021.W
Weekly Postings, May 16th – May 22nd
Percentage Change from May 2020
Change from Pre-COVID Baseline
Health Care & Social Assistance
Professional, Scientific & Tech Services
Finance & Insurance
Accommodation & Food Service
Administrative & Support & Waste Mgmt
Transportation & Warehousing
Real Estate & Rental Leasing
Arts, Entertainment & Recreation
Mining, Quarrying and Oil & Gas
Mgmt of Companies & Enterprises
Agriculture, Forestry & Hunting
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.