For much of the 21st century, Philly has been working hard to attract and retain young adults. The previous mayor created a special advisory board to find ways to keep young people in the city, while Campus Philly worked to keep college graduates in town, as Billy Penn reported. That effort has paid off, as several reports recently named the city a top place for young adults to live. Here’s what’s keeping young professionals in Philadelphia.
As the Pew Charitable Trusts’ 2017 State of the City report revealed, Philadelphia has a much higher homeownership rate than other older U.S. cities. About 53 percent of residents owned their homes in 2015, according to the report.
Although the report notes that housing prices have climbed recently in Fishtown and some of the other more popular neighborhoods, they’ve remained relatively stable or even fallen slightly in others. According to Pew, the annual salary needed to afford a median-priced home is $53,422, which is right around the national average and considerably less than popular cities like Boston or Washington, D.C.
According to Forbes, a thriving job market is one of the top three factors young professionals look for in a city, alongside rent options and housing prices. Although Philly’s unemployment rate is slightly higher than the national rate — 6.7 percent in May 2017, compared to 4.4 percent nationwide — its job market is on the up-and-up. Pew’s report notes that the city has added 15,000 new jobs in the past year, more than the national average. In fact, 2016 marked the first year since the Great Recession that the city’s job growth had outperformed the rest of the U.S.
Young adults in Philadelphia are also more likely to have a college degree than older adults and people living elsewhere, which generally means they’ll be competitive for the city’s higher-paying jobs. Pew’s report found that 41.3 percent of Philly adults between the ages of 25 and 34 held at least a bachelor’s degree, compared to the U.S. average of 34.1 percent.
Entertainment and Lifestyle
Philly has taken steps to make itself more appealing to young adults. At the beginning of 2017, Mayor Kenney’s office put together the first Millennial Advisory Committee, a group of 21 people between the ages of 23 and 34 who work on initiatives to attract and keep young adults in the city, advise the city on issues affecting young adults, help them connect with the greater community in the city and act as mentors for young people who are new citizens.
The increased number of young adults in the city has been particularly good news for the retail and restaurant sector in the downtown area. In response to a younger population, stores such as Nordstrom Rack, a Bloomingdale’s outlet and Forever 21 have opened their doors in the heart of Center City. The city is also experiencing a renaissance of new restaurants, with interesting and creative places to eat opening all the time.
Aside from shopping and eating, Philly offers residents plenty to keep themselves busy. Pew’s report notes that the city has so many cultural organizations, from theaters and museums to historical sites and the zoo, that it might not be able to support all of them on a long-term basis. But that isn’t stopping the boom: Concerns about long-term sustainability seem to have little effect on the growth of cultural activities.
Whether you’ve just graduated from college and are searching for your first job and home or you’re a more established young professional looking for something new, Philly has a place for you. Check out Owners.com to find your new home today.
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