Philadelphia Market employment shows some signs of rebounding

Each state in the Tri-State area has seen employment affected to varying degrees

June 22, 2020
Unemployment rate
  • An analysis of the insured unemployment rate, the number of people receiving unemployment insurance (UI) divided by the labor force, shows that unemployment has fallen or flat-lined since the end of April in Delaware, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. The easing of stay at home orders are enabling parts of the economy to partially and cautiously reactivate.

  • Pennsylvania was hit hardest, with 2,012,512 claims filed since the week ending March 14, compared to 1,175,137 claims in New Jersey and just 107,166 in Delaware, for a tri-state total of more than 3.2 million unemployment filings. However, continued claims as of the week of May 30 number just over 1.45 million, suggesting more than half of those who filed have returned to work or withdrawn their claims.

  • Positive economic news such as the 17.7% increase in retail sales and a personal savings rate of 33.0% during the month of May should help accelerate the positive trend in employment. Increased cash on hand by consumers should help drive rebounds in investment and consumption.

  • That said, unemployment is approximately twice as high in each state as it was during the height of the Great Recession. Given the uncertainty around future waves of infection and state-level reopening decisions, it is unclear when we might expect a return to anything resembling normal employment.