University City Dwarfs Center City in Growth of Well-Paying Jobs
The year 2008 sure feels like a long time ago. The housing bubble burst, the stock market fizzled and employers everywhere were downsizing. Now that we’re years into the recovery, I’m sure we’d all like to forget those days.
In Philadelphia, the job market has gotten undoubtedly better — especially in University City and Center City which has seen an 11 percent increase in jobs from 2008 to 2013 (the most recent data available.) That’s according to JLL research and U.S. Census Bureau data.
But things are even better when it comes to middle- to high-wage jobs (defined as $40,000 per year and up), as the two neighborhoods have seen a 28 percent increase.
With its rapid commercial real estate growth and focus on technology, University City is gaining good jobs at a much faster rate than Center City. In fact, University City has seen an 80 percent increase in middle- to high-wage jobs from 2008 to 2013. Meanwhile, Market Street East saw a 36 percent jump and Market Street West saw just a 5 percent increase.
When measured by share of middle- and high-wage jobs, University City wins again — jumping from 47.1 percent to 66.3 percent from 2008 to 2013. Market Street East climbed from 50.3 percent to 58.4 percent while Market Street West increased from 59.1 percent to 62.4 percent.
JLL offers this explanation: “The concentration and growth of service industry businesses downtown means a larger base of lower-wage jobs in Market East and Market West.”