View of Philadelphia skyline at sunset

Philadelphia Research and Policy Initiative



Businesses, Jobs, and Commuting

Businesses, Jobs, and Commuting

Businesses play a crucial role in Philadelphia as employers, taxpayers, and innovators. And the types of jobs they offer are key to attracting and retaining city residents. In recent years, before the pandemic, Philadelphia experienced an increase in the number of small and midsize businesses along with robust job growth—especially in the areas of education, medicine, leisure and hospitality, and professional services—and recorded the lowest levels of unemployment since 2000. Yet the median wage for city residents still lags behind that of other large U.S. cities. Pew’s research on this topic has explored a broad range of issues, including the geographic distribution of jobs and the ongoing wage gap between city residents and suburban commuters; the growth and financial conditions of smaller companies; the share and distribution of workers with reverse commutes; and the cost of commuting via public transportation.