Monday, April 21, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Where do Philly's creative, service and working classes live?

Story Highlights
  • The creative class makes up 34.6 percent of the metro area's workforce.
  • The service class makes up 47.5 percent.
  • The working class makes up just 17.8 percent of the region's workforce.

Are most workers in Philadelphia members of the creative, service or working class?

The answer might surprise you.

The latest post in The Atlantic Cities' series on class divide in the country's largest metro areas looks at Philadelphia. Using data from the Census Bureau's American Community Survey, the news site found that most Philadelphia-area neighborhoods are dominated by service or creative class workers.

The creative class -- workers in science, technology, business, management, arts, culture, media, entertainment, healthcare and law -- makes up 34.6 percent of the metro area's workforce. And the service class -- workers in food service, retail sales and clerical/administrative positions -- makes up 47.5 percent.

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  • That leaves the working class -- those employed in factory jobs, transportation and construction -- as just 17.8 percent of the region's workforce.

    "This is startling in a city that was an early manufacturing powerhouse, a center for ship-building, railroad manufacturing and pharmaceuticals, not to mention manufacturing capabilities in beer, candy, and even brooms," Atlantic Cities co-founder Richard Florida writes.

    Neighborhoods with the highest concentrations of creative class workers are Center City, Fairmount-Spring Garden and Chestnut Hill, according to the site.

    Areas with the highest percentage of service workers include West Chester, Hartranft, Allegheny West and Germantown.

    And neighborhoods with the greatest share of working class include Camden, Tinicum Township and Hunting Park.

    See more maps, including the percentage of workers in each class in each Philadelphia metro area census tract, on Atlantic Cities.

    Emily Babay Philly.com staff
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