For Immediate Release

What’s up in Philadelphia? Population, Jobs — and Deep Poverty – April 18, 2019

Illustrates Why PHL Neighborhood Growth Project’s Focus on Inclusive Growth and Neighborhood Jobs is so Critical

PHILADELPHIA, PA: Two new studies provide fresh evidence that while Philadelphia is seeing an upswing, too often the progress is relegated to certain neighborhoods and communities.  According to two just released studies, one by the Chamber of Commerce for Greater Philadelphia’s Roadmap for Growth initiative and another by the Pew Foundation, While the city has added population over the last decade and the number of jobs in Philadelphia has increased, the overall poverty rate remains the highest among America’s 10 biggest cities and the number of people living in deep poverty has grown. 

These studies once again illustrate why City Hall needs take up the recently released PHL Neighborhood Growth Project’s Inclusive Growth Agenda, which proposes commonsense solutions to help grow neighborhood jobs, fosters inclusive growth throughout the city, and solve the major issues plaguing Philadelphia. 

According to the Roadmap for Growth “Defining Growth for Philadelphia,” released Wednesday, Philadelphia is making less progress on job growth, income growth and reducing poverty than its peer cities across America.  The report, among the first to dig deeply into neighborhood level data, saw that while some communities were thriving, others were falling even further behind, struggling with high rates of crime and poverty and low levels of job growth.

Pew found similar results in its “State of the City 2019” report released last week, finding “the data show[s] that the contrasts between neighborhoods that are thriving and those that are faltering are as dramatic as ever, in terms of income, education, housing prices, and public safety.”

These studies again prove that Philadelphia remains a “Tale of Two Cities,” rather than of the “Shining City in the Hill” it should be.  

Seeking to tackle the major issues facing Philadelphia and everyone who calls the city home, a broad and growing coalition has come together to support the PHL Neighborhood Growth Project, including dozens of business and civic leaders from across the city, clergy members, and community groups such as: 

  • The African-American Chamber of Commerce of PA, NJ, & DE,
  • The Asian American Chamber of Commerce of Greater Philadelphia,
  • The Greater Northeast Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce, and
  • The Greater Philadelphia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.  

The long-term initiative is organized around fighting for reforms covering four key areas, including: 

  • Inclusive growth and good jobs, 
  • Education and workforce modernization, 
  • Safe and healthy neighborhoods, and
  • Putting people first in City Hall.

As the Philadelphia Inquirer opined in a recent editorial, “The city can’t rise unless every neighborhood rises. And the city won’t progress meaningfully until we start demanding that it should.” (4/16/19)