September 19, 2014
THE U.S. CENSUS released figures this week that show that the national poverty rate has decreased for the first time since 2006. Don't rush to plan a victory parade, though. The percentage of people in poverty has dropped slightly, but the implications are more mathematical than practical: Median household income has remained the same, and the number of those in poverty in 2013 - 45.3 million - is about the same as the year before. And worse news: The percentage of people living below the poverty level in the Philadelphia metro area rose slightly from 2010 to 2013, from 12.7 percent to 13.5 percent; poverty rates in the city fell slightly.
July 17, 2014 |
TO AFRICAN grocery store owner Musa Kromah, who immigrated to the United States 11 years ago to escape civil war in his native Liberia, Philadelphia is "well-known" back in his home country. In fact, he said, "all Liberians" have family members in the city. Greater Philadelphia has the largest Liberian population of any U.S. metro area, according to a November 2008 report from the Brookings Institute think tank. Recent U.S. Census Bureau five-year estimates put the number of people of Liberian ancestry in Philadelphia at 3,769, though community leaders estimate that the numbers are over 5,000.
April 28, 2014 |
Trulia, the real-estate search engine, has been doing some interesting research - most recently, on the rise in income inequality in the nation's 100 largest metropolitan areas. To compile a list of the most unequal metro areas, Trulia used U.S. Census data on household income - which I also use, to determine median income for my weekly "Town by Town" columns in Sunday Business - in addition to its own statistics on housing affordability. What Trulia said about this region should come as no surprise: Philadelphia, poorest of the 10 largest U.S. metro areas, is among the country's most affordable areas for housing.
September 19, 2013
IN 1991, GEORGE Gendron, then-editor of Inc. magazine, penned a column about the best places to do business in the United States. He wrote that Philadelphia was "the Baghdad of the U.S. economy. Nothing works. Don't tell me about all the hot young Philly growth companies. Of the 20 Inc. 500 companies in the metro area, 19 are located as far out of town as they can get. " So what's changed in 22 years? Not much, according to a report Sept. 4 on the website The Atlantic Cities.
March 30, 2013 |
It was Oct. 9, 1914 - the first game of the World Series pitting the Philadelphia Athletics against the Boston Braves. Across 20th Street from Shibe Park, fans filled bleachers built on the roofs of rowhouses. Others sat in open windows, or on the roof of front porches or second-floor bay windows. OK, Boston took the series in four straight, but the defeat of the A's didn't make those rowhouses cheaper than when it began. These days, especially in cities where the ball teams are destined for greatness in 2013, prices for houses and condos can be higher near stadiums than farther out. Philadelphians can expect to pay a median of $145 per square foot for houses one or two miles within Citizens Bank Park, says Jed Kolko, chief economist for the search engine Trulia.
March 15, 2013 |
In recent years, Marina Marx has watched Philadelphia grow, and she knows why. A manager of Honey's Sit 'n Eat restaurant in Northern Liberties, she said business is good thanks to the increased foot traffic. She credits the entertainment options: "There's art, culture, great food, and places to see a show. " Census estimates released Thursday show that Philadelphia's population continues to grow. In 2012, the city added 9,040 people, the sixth consecutive year of growth. Since the official census count in May 2010, the city has added an estimated 21,601 people for a total of 1,547,607.
February 26, 2013 |
Philadelphia has nearly regained its economic footing since the 2007-2008 financial crisis. On Friday, the federal Bureau of Economic Analysis released gross domestic product data for 2011 for more than 300 metropolitan areas, including the 11-county Philadelphia region. The good news is that Philadelphia still has the nation's seventh-largest metro GDP, measured at $308.38 billion. (Econ 101: GDP is the value of all goods and services produced in a geographic area.) That 2011 value means that Philadelphia has nearly returned to its 2008 peak of $309.50 billion in real GDP. (Statistics for 2012 metro GDP are due out in September.)
November 6, 2012 |
NEW YORK - Drivers in the New York area may soon get relief from long lines and higher gas prices. A week after Superstorm Sandy hit the area, the price of gas has increased 10 cents or more per gallon in the New York City area and in hard-hit parts of New Jersey. Images of long lines of cars and interviews with frustrated drivers have become staples in news coverage of the storm's aftermath. But across the U.S. the price of gasoline is falling - fast. It fell 7 cents this past week and has declined almost 9 percent in a month to $3.47 per gallon.
November 1, 2012 |
WASHINGTON - Unemployment rates fell in nearly all large U.S. cities in September, a sign that recent jobs gains have been widespread. The Labor Department said Tuesday that rates declined in 355 of the 372 metro areas, the most since April. The report also shows that nearly half of cities now have unemployment rates below 7 percent. And the number of areas with unemployment rates above 10 percent dropped to 35. That's down from 84 a year ago. Rates rose in September in only 11 cities and were unchanged in six. Nationwide, the unemployment rate fell to 7.8 percent in September.
September 28, 2012 |
The downtowns of many of the nation's biggest urban areas - including Philadelphia - saw double-digit population growth from 2000 to 2010, according to a new Census report. The numbers also show a reversal of sorts as younger, white, Non-Hispanics seem to be the drivers of the trend. The report released today shows that downtowns, defined as areas within two miles of a city hall, have been driving population growth in metropolitan areas with more than 5 million people. Both The Philadelphia Inquirer and Daily News have written stories documenting the trend locally.