Monday, July 10, 2017

Why is Pennsylvania shrinking? It's about jobs

The Philadelphia Inquirer reports:
Despite all the new pipelines to export natural gas, all of Philly’s many new start-up spaces and high-rise towers, and all the new warehouses in former factory regions upstate, Pennsylvania’s population is shrinking, writes Mark Vitner, chief economist at Wells Fargo & Co., the dominant bank in Philadelphia and many other U.S. metro areas.

The state’s population of 13 million fell last year for the first time since 1985, Vitner noted in a report to clients last week, citing U.S. Labor Department estimates. (Deaths and move-outs outnumbered births, immigration, and other move-ins by nearly 8,000. Among the states, only Connecticut, West Virginia, and Illinois lost more people.)

Philadelphia, which has fallen to sixth-largest among U.S. cities, added fewer than 3,000 residents, “which is disheartening,” given young people’s “renewed interest in urban living” that has boosted downtown populations across the United States, adds Vitner. About 78 smaller U.S. cities attracted more new residents than Philadelphia. The city’s suburbs also grew just slightly. Pittsburgh, the state’s second city, continues to shrink.