According the most recent reports, the city of Philadelphia has been named as one of the poorest cities of the nation and there is an urgent need to acknowledge the growing unemployment and economic crisis that is being faced by the city. The challenge that the city is facing gets more acknowledgement due to its nearness to other wealthy and prosperous suburbs. In the year 2005, the city’s population was 73,305, which was a total of 15% of the total population of the County and it accounts for an alarming 45% of the totally unemployed percentage of the total County.
There have been many pointers that have been used up lately to measure the unemployment rate in Philadelphia which is a significant indicator of the economy. At times, the experts see the unemployment rate as straightforward, but at this point it is important to take note that this figure does not constitute the people who are currently unemployed or under-employed. Especially, Philadelphia has been showing high unemployment rates since the last decade and it has lacked the required level of growth at the state and the national levels also. As a clear indicator, the gap that existed between the U. S.
unemployment and the Philadelphia county rate widened and increased from 2% to 3. 6% in 2004. These figures show that Philadelphia has been very badly affected with the economic downturns of the U. S. economy. Also the basic fundamental structure of the city that creates job has been found to be very weak, thereby resulting in more of unemployment. The causes of unemployment in Philadelphia are straight forwardly associated to the shape of the economy. With time as the economic conditions depreciated, the industries and the employers were required to economize and cut back a number of jobs and downsized the salaries as well.
Technology was one of the main sources of income for the people of Philadelphia and lately this sector has been very hardly hit all across the United States, thereby further weakening the already fragile economy of Philadelphia. Definitely, the cause of high unemployment levels is the weak economy structure of Philadelphia, but certainly there are many other ill effects of unemployment beyond the economic concerns. There has been a major concern of community health as a whole for the population of Philadelphia.
There are obvious effects of unemployment on the people of Philadelphia, as they find themselves in shaky monetary state of affairs; they possess reduced optional returns and are at the same time at a greater risk of loosing their property which also includes their homes and other residential places. As per the reports generated by the Center for the Advancement of Health, high levels of unemployment also prove dangerous for the health concerns of the Philadelphia Society. Unemployment seriously affects the health, physical as well as emotional state of mind and body of an individual and also his relatives.
The health department has also recorded a substantial increase in the number of such cases where unemployment has given way to depression or material abuses. Also precise associations have also been linked between unemployment and such signs as low birth weight, high stress levels, and physical and mental health problems amongst the population of the Philadelphia city. In Philadelphia, according to the reports generated by the 2003 Census, at least 47 percent of individuals with any kind of physical or mental disabilities that influence their capacity to work are without a job.
Underemployment is also a major crisis among persons with disabilities. Nearly 35 percent of all working people with disabilities earn incomes below the poverty level. Education and Nutrition Also, another important concern related to unemployment is education. As data and figures suggest, the educational level of the city, is significantly lower than the rest of the state and the county. This strongly states that education is one of the most stressing factors and causes of unemployment and need to be addressed in order to face the challenges of unemployment.
The graduation rate and level of the Philadelphia City’s is strikingly low than other parts of the state. In the year 2002-2003, the gradation level of students was over 80 percent for the state, the rates for the same in Philadelphia city was less than 40 percent. Thus, 60 percent of students in this cohort were unsuccessful in acquiring a high school diploma. On a positive note, this level increased in the successive year with 47% students graduating the course. The trends of the student marks obtained in this region also clearly show the poor education facilities of the public schools in the city of Philadelphia.
During the academic year of 2000-2001 school year, more than 82 percent of all students in the state scored at least proficient on the average of their math, literacy, and science scores. In comparison, less than 40 percent of scholars at Philadelphia High and Woodrow Wilson High achieved at least proficient on the same tests. Brimm Medical Arts High, located in Philadelphia City, is a magnet school focused on the medical professions, with competitive selection criteria. Students at Brimm Medical Arts show proficiency scores as high as those of students statewide.
Food Stamps, WIC dietary profits, and complimentary or compact school lunch hold great significance for the fragile economy of Philadelphia that have already a large number of low income families and individuals. This offers both the unequal and lopsided need for food aid in the city and the significance of this support for a wide range of the inhabitants, as well as children and adults, workers and people with disabilities. Many Philadelphia City inhabitants depend on the help that is made available through the Food Stamps program.
More than 35 percent of all families in Philadelphia City were given subsidized food stamps in 2005, measured up to to somewhat more than four percent of families statewide. A mass of families getting food stamps consist of a family member who is in employment. This is predominantly the case in the city of Philadelphia, where eight out of every ten families receiving food stamps included an employed family member in 2005. There is a striking disproportion between the amount of food grant and the population of Philadelphia.
The grants that are given to Philadelphia are half of the total WIC grants in the county in 2003 and 2005 while the total population of the city is only 13 percent of the total population. Nearly two-thirds of children receiving food stamps within the county of Philadelphia between 2002 and 2004 were children living within the city of Philadelphia. Again, this is a arresting finding, given that, in 2005, the entire population of Philadelphia City made up only 14 percent of the county population.
Policy Recommendations 1. Increase the financial governmental aid – the level of governmental subsidy has remained the same sine 1988, in spite of the inflation in the economy. According to the reports, a family of three people gets only $426 per month in the form of governmental aid. The rate of Philadelphia population dependability on the public aid is much higher than the average state residents. This decline in the value of money given by government had highly impacted the Philadelphia population.
As a result, there should be a substantial increase of at least 15%in the public aid in order to raise the living standards of the people until unemployment factor does not become appreciably less. The program should also consider housing, schooling and other in kind facilities to the city recipients. 2. Reward to the employed families and lowering the eligibility criterion – To bring about a substantial increase in the employment level in the city of Philadelphia, the state should lower the eligibility criterion of the state EITC to the same that exists for the Federal EITC.
According to the reports generated, more than half of the families on Philadelphia, were earning less than $15,000 per year and the proposed increase in the eligibility of the EICT could help at least 5000 families in the city to take up work. Also to note that Philadelphia residents were 50% of the total EITC filers of the entire county in the year 2003. 3. Housing Security to all residents – In the wake of high unemployment in the city, it is important that the government provides the basic amenities to the residents.
Ensuring a home security for the people of Philadelphia, with the help of Governmental Rental Programs can help the population in a major way, since majorities of the people in Philadelphia are renters. By being able to save their rents or getting subsidized rent houses from the state, they will be able to save more on their incomes. Many people struggle all through the month to cover their rent payments and by the figures, almost 62% of the Philadelphia population was cost burdened in 2005, which meant that they were paying 24% more than their annual hosing costs.
State rental aids for residential purposes will avoid the cost burden and help the low incomes meet the other basic needs. 4. Increase in the schooling and health facilities – this can be done by increasing the levels of the eligibility for New Jersey Family care to parents at about 200% of FPL and for single adults to about a 100%. The schooling facilities in Philadelphia are very poor as compared to the other regions. Development in the education system will sooner or later bring about an increase in the employment levels of Philadelphia, thereby developing the economy of the city.
Also, needed are some fundamental changes in the health care system of the city so that the residents are healthy to fight any situation in the wake of slow economic developments. 1.
Brooks-Gunn, Jeanne, George J. Duncan, Pamela K. Klebanov and Naomi Sealand, 1993, “Does employment affects Development” American Journal of Sociology (2): 353-395. 3. Anne and Lawrence Katz, 1991, “Reconstruction and development program, – 2002″ NBER, Working Paper #3705. 4. Clark, Rebecca, 1992, ” Effects on Dropping Out of School among Teenage Boys,” The Urban Institute, Discussion paper series, PSC-DSC-UI-13.
5. Corcoran, Mary, Roger Gordon, Deborah Laren and Gary Solon, 1992, “The Association between Economic Status and their Family and Community Origins,” Journal of Human Resources 27(4): 575-601. 6. Crane, Jonathan, 1991, “The Bureau of economic policy and analysis,” American Journal of Sociology. 7. Ellwood, David, 1986, “The Spatial Mismatch Hypothesis: Are There Jobs Missing in the Philadelphia? ,” in Richard B. Freeman and Harry J. Holzer, eds. , The Youth Employment Crisis.