Mayor says certain portions of Philadelphia economy may never recover

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- The economic crisis caused by coronavirus has led to more than 36 million unemployment claims nationwide.

Three million people filed in just the past week.

In our area, workers in Philadelphia are the hardest hit. That includes people who work for restaurants and the hospitality industry.

Mayor Jim Kenney says those sectors may never recover.

"It's not only what the numbers indicate from a data standpoint but also with consumer confidence," Kenney said.

RELATED: Philadelphia's Class of 2020 to get virtual high school graduation

Action News has found our area is better off than much of the state. While Philadelphia has the highest unemployed workforce in our five-county region of Southeastern Pennsylvania at eight percent, it's still 50th out of 67 counties.

Chester and Montgomery counties are among the four lowest unemployed counties in the state but people are still suffering.

Meanwhile, Philadelphia announced a new COVID-19 recovery office on Thursday.

It will be dedicated to obtaining state and federal dollars to help businesses and get people back on the job.

RELATED: Deaths top 1,000 in Philly as COVID-19 Recovery Office formed

As for those hardest hit industries like tourism, entertainment and leisure?

"There is no specific plan yet, because we don't know what the data is going to tell us to plan definitively for reopening of all those segments," said Kenney.

The data shows that rural Pennsylvania is amongst the hardest hit counties when it comes to unemployment by capita, but many of those counties have now moved to the yellow phase so those numbers could change.


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