Philadelphia economy doing better

Philadelphia’s controller says the city’s economy continues to show slow improvement.

The job count for February was up 2,600 over the same time a year ago, according to City Controller Alan Butkovitz. The total for the month was 661,000 jobs.

“The biggest gain was in education and health services, but construction and professional services were also big gainers at over a thousand each,” Butkovitz said.

Not every category was up, however. And he said there were some declines.

“As we’ve seen, the biggest loss was government layoffs, government jobs being eliminated, people retiring from city government and not being replaced. The police force is at an all-time low,” he said. “So, I mean there’s a lot of pressure on teaching jobs and local government jobs, usually through attrition.”

The controller added the improvement in the local economy is putting more money in city coffers, with wage and net profit tax receipts up about 4 percent, and the sales tax up 3 percent over last year.

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