Nutter leaves office with unemployment low
Along with mics, the unemployment rate is dropping as Michael Nutter's administration comes to an end.
Albeit with some bumps in between.
In one of his last announcements, the former Mayor of Philadelphia said last week that the city’s unemployment rate dropped to 5.9 percent. Nutter and the outgoing Deputy Mayor for Economic Development, Alan Greenberger, jointly released a statement saying the new data shows there are “more jobs in Philly than at any point in the last 15 years.” Nutter called the growing number of Philadelphians working “a positive sign of health in our local economy.”
“This latest employment data is further evidence that Philadelphia is on the right track and more jobs are being created in our city than any other time in recent memory,” said the former mayor.
The data, released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), reflects numbers gathered in November 2015. The change in the unemployment rate, which was 6.8 percent this time last year, is a bit more than the change in unemployment across the same span of time nationally (5.8 percent in Nov. 2014 to 5.0 percent in Nov. 2015).
When Nutter first took office, unemployment was 6.9 percent. Since then, unemployment in the city rose to the highest rates in the last two decades. In June 2009, the rate broke the 10 percent barrier and stayed around that range until early 2014. If you are curious, the highest rate during Nutter's leadership was 11.9 percent for Jul. 2012 and Jan. 2013. This newest rate marks the lowest for the outgoing administration since April 2008 (also 5.9 percent).
Nutter oversaw the city during the peak of a severe economic downturn for the U.S. economy more commonly known as the Great Recession.
More than 6,000 Philadelphians found jobs between October and November bringing the total employment number to 650,108. City officials said this is the highest it has been since December 1990. The number of jobs in the city also increased by 4,300 since October (the most since April 2001, say officials).
It is important to note, BLS numbers for the city are not seasonally adjusted. This means the usual holiday season hiring boom could have affected these employment numbers.
“As we end one Administration and begin another I want to thank all of the entrepreneurs, businesses, workers and economic development organizations that have helped Philadelphia recover from the recession and experience the recent growth we have achieved,” said Greenberger. The fact that so many Philadelphians are now at work is thanks to the strength of our neighborhoods, the resiliency of our small businesses, the investment made by our existing business community, and the fact that so many new companies have chosen Philadelphia as their home.”
Bonus statistic: the newest (2014) numbers from the U.S. Census show that 10 percent of those employed in Philadelphia are living under the poverty level. The same data set showed the national rate is 7.4 percent.