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Philadelphia: A Metro Area in Transition

The second article in a series highlighting ASA’s upcoming 2005 centennial meeting in Philadelphia

Like many eastern and midwestern urban areas, Philadelphia’s economy has undergone a major transition in recent decades. Roughly a half century ago, manufacturing dominated the economy of both the city and suburbs, providing almost half of the city’s jobs and 58 percent of those in the suburbs. In 2003, manufacturing accounted for just 5 percent of the city’s total employment and 11 percent of suburban jobs; and it remains in decline in both areas. As manufacturing recedes, the city’s and region’s educational and health institutions have emerged quite strongly as principal drivers of the local economy. Today, education represents about 12 percent of city employment and 7 percent of suburban employment; health services, including social assistance, constitutes 18 percent of Philadelphia’s jobs and 12 percent of those in the suburbs.

also in this issue
Candidates for ASA Offices in 2006

In accordance with election policies established by the ASA Council, biographical sketches of the candidates for ASA leadership positions are published in Footnotes. The biographical sketches appear in alphabetical order by office. Biographical sketches for all candidates will be available online when ballots are mailed to all current voting members, anticipated for April.

ASA Weighs in on Gender and Science Careers

On January 15, 2005, Harvard University President Lawrence Summers addressed the National Bureau of Economic Research Conference on Diversifying the Science and Engineering Workforce. Summers’ speech focused on his three broad hypotheses to explain the relatively small number of women in high-level positions in science, mathematics, and engineering. He included among his speculations that innate differences between men and women might be one reason for the discrepancy between the sexes choosing and succeeding in science, math, and engineering academics and careers. Summers’ remarks immediately made national news and sparked a national debate that continues as this Footnotes goes to press.

Copyright © 2005 by the American Sociological Association. All rights reserved.