41% of Greater Philadelphia’s 3.1 million jobs supported by eds & meds

Philadelphia’s most recession-proof sector faces new trials in COVID-19 era

July 21, 2020
2019 Philadelphia MSA jobs supported by eds & meds
Eds & Meds economy at a glance


  • The Philadelphia Region’s eds and meds sector, not subject to the vagaries of the private market, is typically a source of stability in trying economic times. Directly, the sector supports 422,000 direct jobs, and indirectly, the sector supports 842,000 of our region’s 3.1 million jobs, or 41 percent.

  • COVID-19 has brought unprecedented changes and challenges to the way we work and is likely to have long-standing economic impacts as a result. Will education and medicine employment perform as it has historically? There is room for debate.

  • While medical operations have been full-steam treating the pandemic, from emergency and intensive care to community-level testing, many of our hospital systems have been forced to cancel profitable elective procedures and moved to telehealth. While education of students from elementary to collegiate levels has continued virtually, and large universities rely on endowments and private philanthropy, it remains to be seen what elementary school looks like in the fall and what students are willing to pay for in terms of tuition for non-residential experiences.

  • While there is hope for cautious optimism for employment levels and our life sciences research and development, the real estate market should be prepared for some downsizing due to partial structural shifts to remote environments.