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Monitoring Philadelphia’s Economic Recovery

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As fall begins, Philadelphia has continued its slow, steady but uneven employment recovery. Jobs that can be performed remotely declined less during the pandemic and are rebounding faster. Those jobs that require face-to-face interaction with customers were affected most. So long as other workers remain remote, and so long as the Delta variant remains a challenge, making the unvaccinated and the rest of us vulnerable, recovery will be hampered.

As of the first day of fall, according to the CDC, 78% of Philadelphia’s adults had received at least one dose and 59% had been fully vaccinated. Vaccines should soon be available for children ages 5 to 11. Many employers, as well as colleges and universities, are now mandating vaccines and this has increased the confidence required for full recovery.

With the addition of 1,700 jobs in August, Philadelphia has now restored 43% of the jobs lost in the initial months of the pandemic. Both SEPTA and PATCO ridership rose in July and pedestrian volumes in the Market Street office district increased in August, suggesting a gradual return to downtown work, while hotel tax revenue increased and the number of passengers going through Philadelphia International Airport continued to climb. Performing arts institutions have reopened, college students and public school students are back in classrooms, and retail and restaurants are steadily reopening. 

For a narrative of trends, along with explanatory charts tracking the recovery, download the 10-page report at- Monitoring Philadelphia's Economic Recovery, September 2021.