Report: Health Care and Education Remain Philly’s Largest Employers

Despite a changing economic landscape, eds and meds are still king.

Image: Shutterstock

Image: Shutterstock

Philadelphia’s economic landscape is changing. Between the techies on N3RD Street, the slew of new restaurants and shops, and a booming real estate market, the city’s economy is growing ever more diverse. But some things remain the same: Eds and meds still rule.

In fact, more than 144,000 people in Philadelphia worked in the health care industry in 2013, earning $6.7 billion in annual salary, according to newly released data from the Census Bureau. That makes health care far and away the city’s largest employment sector, and the sector that pays the highest salaries.

Education was second in both categories, employing 81,500 people in the city in 2013 for an annual payroll of $4.27 billion.

So while it’s trendy for politicians and business leaders to focus on innovation and new ways to create jobs, let’s not forget that the old stalwarts are still driving the local economy.

Interestingly, “accommodation and food services” employ more than 50,000 in Philadelphia — making it the third-largest employment sector in the city — but wages lag behind at just $1.28 million, making it sixth overall.

Here are some numbers to chew on:

IndustryNo. of Employees in Philadelphia
Healthcare and Social Assistance144,014
Education Services81,591
Accommodation and Food Services53,311
Retail Trade50,039
Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services45,332
IndustryAnnual Salaries in Philadelphia
Healthcare and Social Assistance$6.71 billion
Education Services$4.27 billion
Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services$4.24 billion
Finance and Insurance$3.25 billion
Information$1.48 billion

So what does the future for Philadelphia’s largest employment sector? Watch this video with Dr. Stephen K. Klasko, president and CEO of Thomas Jefferson University, Dr. Stephen Altschuler, CEO of the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, and Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, Head of the Department of Medical Ethics & Health Policy at the University of Pennsylvania. They spoke at Philly Mag’s ThinkFest 2014.