A new report compiled by the Pew Charitable Trusts shows Philadelphia added 8,800 jobs last year, the most since 1999. It also finds that the city’s population has grown for its eighth straight year.
Philly’s population, which by 2006 had slipped to 1,448,710, is now 1,560,297, according to U.S. Census figures. The Philadelphia 2015 report credits robust growth among 20- to 34-year-olds for that turnaround. Right now, 25- to 29-year-olds make up the most populous age bracket in Philadelphia.
While the unemployment rate in Philadelphia remains higher than the regional and national rates of 6.2 percent, by the end of 2014, it had declined to 7.8 percent.
The Pew report highlights how health and education employers added the most jobs in the past decade. The “eds and meds” sector grew 18 percent, hiring 32,500 people since 2004. In fact, the University of Pennsylvania, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Thomas Jefferson University Hospital and Temple University are the top four private-sector employers in the city. The leisure and hospitality sector grew 23 percent, adding 12,500 jobs over the same period.
While the job growth in Philadelphia has not been as strong as in its suburbs or the nation as a whole, the report notes that the city also didn’t lose as many jobs in the last recession.