What Jobs Would Make You Move to Philly?

Opportunities abound locally in healthcare and community and social services, says a new survey examining Bureau of Labor Statistics data.

Opportunity abounds in Philly for job-seekers interested in community and social service work, according to a new study examining BLS data.

Opportunity abounds in Philly for job-seekers interested in community and social service work, according to a new study examining BLS data.

Philadelphia’s recent good fortune still has some local boosters worried. In particular, they fret, job growth has not kept pace with population growth, and the city’s persistently high rate of poverty could act as a drag on the local rebound.

There’s good news on both fronts. According to Bureau of Labor Statistics data, job growth in the city is outpacing population growth for the third year in a row. And a new survey that examines opportunities for job-seekers in the nation’s 25 largest cities finds that dark cloud of poverty has a silver lining: loads of opportunity for those interested in social and community services.

A recent study conducted by the apartment-search site Abodo ranked the “Best Cities for Job-Seekers” in the five fastest-growing occupational sectors nationwide. Those sectors, with their percentage growth from 2012 to 2015, are: Community and social service (14.61 percent), computer and mathematics (14.49 percent), health care practitioners and technicians (9.89 percent), construction and extraction (9.24 percent) and art, design, entertainment, sports and media (8.42 percent). For purposes of comparison, employment in all fields nationwide grew 4.47 percent over the same three-year period.

“We set out to provide job seekers who might be on the move with information that will help them find a better job in the city that they live in or in the city they’re moving to,” said Abodo spokesperson Sam Radbil. “And since job growth has been steady, we wanted to find out what industries are the fastest-growing and where those jobs exist among the major cities.”

As it turns out, the first and third of those sectors are areas where Philadelphia is particularly strong.

In terms of job density (the total number of jobs in a given sector per 1,000 total jobs), health care and social services were the two biggest of the five sectors locally. The density of healthcare jobs in Philadelphia was the highest of all 25 cities: 78.1 per 1,000. Community and social services, the other sector where the city’s job density was the highest of all, was a distant second, with 28.5 jobs per 1,000, closely followed by computer and mathematics at 28.2.

In terms of their location quotient (the density of jobs in a given sector locally compared to their density nationwide), Philadelphia ranks tops among all 25 cities in community and social service jobs, with 1.99 jobs in this sector for every one job nationally, and in health care practitioner and technician jobs, with 1.34 jobs for every one job nationally.

Those seeking opportunities in the other fastest-growing fields would be advised to look elsewhere, for the city ranked in the middle of the pack (tied for 12th with San Diego) in art, design, entertainment, sports and media job density, seventh from the bottom in computer and mathematics, and dead last in construction and extraction.

Still, the figures suggest that the city’s recent population surge may prove durable thanks to its strengths in particular sectors against a backdrop of renewed job growth. So does this mean we need more poor people? Absolutely not, but we can use all the help we can get from those interested in tackling that problem, and there’s plenty of opportunity for them to put their talents to work here.