Eds and Meds
A brief conversation with the City Paper's Bruce Schimmel after my talk at the Philadelphia Unemployment Project last week turned into me getting quoting in his column this week. The context of his note about "eds and meds" was my observation that the fact that even local universities and hospitals were initiating hiring freezes and outright layoffs underscored the severity of this recession for me; previously, I had assumed Philly would do alright, relatively speaking, because many of its main employers reside in these recession-resistant industries.
"Eds and meds" remain a great anchor around which to build a regional economy, since - this downturn notwithstanding - they do tend to be large and steady employers of people of all skill levels, and draw into their vortex a lot of really important activities that make a region vibrant, like research and brains and transients. Of course, from my own selfish perspective, it's been nice for my family to be able to walk down the street to get a Master's degree, access world-class health resources, and enjoy a variety of cultural and intellectual events. So notwithstanding the pain everyone, including "eds and meds," are feeling, I'll take my chances with Philadelphia and with University City.