Pew has analyzed several aspects of Philadelphia’s city government, including City Council operations, practices, and compensation, human resources and hiring policies, the Philly311 customer service center, workforce development programs, and the prison system. In addition, we have studied Philadelphia’s public libraries and the challenges they face in meeting changing resident demands.

Businessmen talking over papers
Businessmen talking over papers
Article

What Philadelphia Spends on Outside Contracts

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Article

Philadelphia city government is slated to spend nearly $3.8 billion this fiscal year to purchase a wide range of services through outside contracts, about the same amount it spends on salaries and benefits for its own employees. These arrangements include paying nonprofit organizations to shelter the homeless; utilities to provide heat, water, and electricity to city buildings; and service providers to place children in foster care.

Job fair
Job fair
Report

Hiring and Employment in Philadelphia City Government

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Report

In hiring municipal employees, Philadelphia, like many U.S. cities, faces the challenge of attracting top talent and diversifying its workforce while adhering to long-standing regulations that often restrict the pool of candidates. To residents, municipal workers embody city government; and to a large degree, their performance determines the quality and perception of city services.

Philadelphia
Report

Philadelphia’s Councilmanic Prerogative

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Report

This report examines the Philadelphia legislative practice known as “councilmanic prerogative,” through which individual City Council members make nearly all of the land use decisions in their jurisdictions. The study is based on extensive analysis of city records as well as interviews with dozens of individuals who have been involved in the process, including officials, developers, academics, and community advocates. It is the first independent examination of the practice in the city.

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