Phila. employment won't return to pre-recession levels until mid-2014

The latest quarterly reading of Select Greater Philadelphia's leading economic indicators point to mid-2014 as the earliest point when employment in the region will return to its pre-recession level.

The Greater Philadelphia Leading Index is an effort by the organization that tries to attract new employers to the region to forecast where the local economy is headed six months from now.

The trend over the last 12 months has been one of gradual growth followed by gradual decline. The 12-month moving average peaked in February and declined each month through June, the most recent data available.

In a statement, the organization said the trend indicates that the region's rate of economic growth will "decline somewhat" over the next several quarters.

Select Greater Philadelphia and IHS Global Insight, which provided data analysis for the quarterly report, also said the trends confirm that the "U.S. economy continues to recover more quickly than the region's."

Looking at the year-over-year change in employment in the Philadelphia and Trenton metropolitan statistical areas, the organizations said the employment growth rate of the two regions has remained below that of the U.S. as a whole since September 2010.

Here's a link to the latest figures for the leading index on Select Greater Philadelphia's website.