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February 20, 2015

For every worker in Center City, there are 0.7 jobs

Real Estate Advisor Glenn Blumenfeld shares commentary on the City's real estate market

Word on the street is that Philadelphia is a city on the rise, but buried beyond the twinkling skyline are statistics that seem to tell another side of the story.

Philadelphia Business Journal guest columnist and real estate advisor Glenn Blumenfeld took on the role of loyal opposition in a commentary in which he argues that despite the hype, Philly isn’t as strong as it seems.

Yes, on the surface it seems like things are picking up in Center City. Heck, the Democrats even decided to host their next convention here and The New York Times ranked us the third best place to visit in the entire world. However, while more people are choosing to live in the city and more retailers and restaurants are popping up to support these 24/7 inhabitants, fewer people are actually finding jobs and working in the city.

To back up his claim, Blumenfeld shares a few points, including:

  1. Philadelphia’s unemployment rate is significantly higher than in Boston, Washington, D.C., and NYC and Baltimore.
  2. For every Center City worker, there are 0.7 jobs.
  3.  While Washington, D.C., Boston and New York City have created booming economies and experienced double digit job growth since 1970, Philadelphia has lost over 25 percent of its jobs since then.
Companies won't come here simply because we have good restaurants, housing and museums. Companies need to see a local government who embraces business and views them as an essential partner in solving urban problems…And we need to show them why they need us. We cannot afford to fail. We have too much to offer and too much to lose.

But he doesn’t just delivered the bad news and leave it at that. Blumenfeld also offers ideas and solutions that he thinks would help save the City’s ailing real estate market.

If we really want people to believe that Philadelphia is an exciting, dynamic city where they should invest for the long term, we need to find ways to create jobs like our neighbors in Boston, NYC and Washington, D.C. We need to identify our competitive strength and exploit it.

To read Blumenfeld’s full commentary click here.