January 16, 2015
Philadelphia’s graduation, employment and population figures are increasing while its murder and violent crime rates are decreasing, according to a report from Mayor Michael Nutter's office.
The report, “Tale of the Tape: 1984-2014,” analyzes various data and metrics from the last three decades and was released Thursday.
The report highlights the differences between the start and finish of each of the previous four administrations. Presented in that context, the Nutter administration mostly shines.
The murder rate and violent crime rates are down. City funding for education is rising; so too are graduation rates. The city has more jobs, a better credit rating and a lower wage tax.
However, the city’s poverty rate – which has fallen since 2011 – is up 2.2 percent since Nutter took office.
Beyond that, the numbers mostly have improved.
The 248 murders last year represent a 36.6 percent drop from the 391 murders in 2007, John Street’s final year in office. Violent crimes fell by 17.1 percent, continuing a trend that began during the Ed Rendell administration.
Four-year graduation rates increased to 65 percent – a 13 percent increase during Nutter’s administration. The percentage of students graduating within 4-6 years, jumped to 70 percent, an 11 percent boost.
City taxpayer funding for education has jumped to $1.2 billion, its highest amount in the last 30 years and a 42.5 percent increase since Nutter took office. Since 2009, city funding has grown by $360 million, more than 100 times the state’s $3.5 million increase, according to the report.
The city has 667,000 public and private sector jobs, its highest total since 2003. The city gained a meager 4,164 jobs during Nutter’s administration, but it is the only one to increase jobs during the last 30 years.
Likewise, the total number of employed city residents has risen to 596,000, a 1.7 percent jump since Nutter took office. The city’s population also rose for the seventh straight year. The 1.55 million people living within Philadelphia is the highest total since the late-1990s.
The city’s wage tax is under 4 percent for the first time since 1976. All three credit rating agencies have awarded Philadelphia an A rating.
Civilian fire deaths, smoking rates and the infant mortality rate have decreased under Nutter.