Greater Philadelphia’s unemployment rate sits at 3.7 percent, matching the U.S. overall

The U.S. is officially experiencing the longest period of economic growth ever recorded

August 07, 2019
  • The U.S. is officially experiencing the longest period of economic growth ever recorded. Now 121 months long, this new normal began six months into the Obama presidency in June 2009, lasted the remaining 91 months of that administration, and has sustained itself through the 20 months of the new administration. Unemployment currently stands at 3.7 percent nationally, and the Philadelphia region is keeping pace based on preliminary numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which show the region tightening from 2018’s 4.2 percent rate. A comparison of our region to ten other major metropolitan areas illustrates how broad this economic growth is: despite major differences in industry specializations, labor forces, and other factors, no region is experiencing more than 4.2 percent unemployment (LA), while tech hotspots Austin and Boston sit at 2.7 and 2.9 percent unemployment respectively. 
  • The bad news for employers is that further job creation is entirely dependent on labor force growth. There are not enough workers with the requisite backgrounds and skills to sustain additional tightening. In fact, 2019’s 1.2 million additional jobs represent a 27 percent slowing compared to the first seven months of 2018, a strong indicator of just how difficult hiring has become. With talent shortfalls hitting office-using industries particularly acutely, Philadelphia and other major office markets should expect slower job growth in the months ahead without labor force expansion. 

Source: JLL Research, Bureau of Labor Statistics   

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