The annual report issued by the Center City District about the state of Center City presents a number of interesting findings, such as:
- The City lost only 217 jobs from 2004 to 2005, compared to a 9,100 reduction from 2000 to 2004. The year 2000 was the last time the City achieved employment growth.
- The City's business privilege tax adds a cost of $4.76 per sq. ft. to businesses located in the City compared to businesses in a suburb. A 100,000 square foot tenant with 400 employees would save $476,000 per year by moving to the suburbs. We'll need to work on this.
- The City's residential boom continues to have a powerful effect on the City, as 1,966 housing units were added in 2005. Since a 10-year tax abatement (thanks Councilman DiCicco) was implemented in 1997, 8,356 new units have been constructed. Wow.
- Center City, with 3 percent of the City's land, provides 47 percent of private sector wages. When University City is factored in, that number comes to 57 percent of all wages earned in the City. So much for the "Center City vs. the Neighborhoods" formulation. Center City is the economic engine that drives Philadelphia.