Linda K. Harris, Director of Communications
Center City District Releases State of Center City, 2012
PHILADELPHIA (April 26, 2012) – Center City has the nation's third-largest number, 264,878, of employees concentrated downtown, exceeded only by the central business districts of New York and Chicago. Downtown's jobs are clustered at a density 143 times the levels found across the region. Center City contains 39% of all private-sector jobs in Philadelphia and because these jobs are easily accessible by public transit and by the regional highway network, they generate over $12 billion in annual salaries to residents across the metropolitan area, according to State of Center City, 2012, a new 68-page report presented today by Center City District President and CEO Paul R. Levy. The report documents how Center City has diversified and grown, buffered from the worst of the national recession.
On average, 20% of the employed residents in every neighborhood in Philadelphia work downtown with the percent jumping to 42% for all the neighborhoods between Girard Avenue and Tasker Street.
Within these boundaries, almost 24,000 Center City residents work downtown and collectively earn $2 billion annually. Sixty-five percent of these residents commute to work without a car, saving substantial portions of their paychecks that otherwise would have been spent on commuting costs: 38% walk to work, 22% take public transit and 5% rely on bicycles.
The population of downtown has increased by 16.3% in just the last decade, making it the fastest growing and most densely settled portion of the city. There is renewed interest in public elementary schools, due in part to the more than 20,000 children born to Center City parents since 2000. Center City residents are among the best educated in the city: 66% have a college degree, and 39% have a graduate degree.
Due to the diversification of the Center City economy (39% office sector, 35% healthcare and education, and 11% leisure and hospitality) downtown has a 24-hour vibrancy. Despite a prolonged national recession, Center City's office market is 88% occupied, the highest occupancy rate in the region, while eds and meds have added jobs in all but six months during the last five years.
"State of Center City celebrates success," Levy said. "But it is also candid about our need to build civic consensus for those tax changes and strategic infrastructure investments we must make in order for all of Philadelphia to thrive as a competitive and growing employment center, creating opportunities for all our residents."
State of Center City, 2012, offers a comprehensive look at all employment sectors of the downtown, arts, cultural, and demographic trends and serves as an annual report on the programs of the Center City District and Central Philadelphia Development Corporation. Brand-new this year are analyses of downtown pedestrian activity in the shopping and retail district, based on newly-installed 24-hour digital cameras, new measures of sustainability, extensive information on downtown parking, and Philadelphia's Walk Score as it compares to other U.S. cities.
The final chapter of the report outlines the initiatives needed to prompt downtown's next cycle of development.
You'll find all of this – the entire report and individual sections that can be downloaded, along with new interactive maps, at CenterCityPhila.org/socc/.
The Center City District, a private-sector organization dedicated to making Center City Philadelphia clean, safe and attractive, is committed to maintaining Center City's competitive edge as a regional employment center, a quality place to live, and a premier regional destination for dining, shopping and cultural attractions. Find us at www.centercityphila.org and on Facebook and Twitter.
The Central Philadelphia Development Corporation is a membership organization of more than 100 leading businesses with a stake in the future of Center City and the region. Its purpose is to strengthen the vitality and competitiveness of Center City Philadelphia as the vibrant 24–hour hub of the Greater Philadelphia region, through planning, research and advocacy.