Philadelphia - Economy

Economy

Philadelphia's economic sectors include manufacturing, oil refining, food processing, health care and biotechnology, tourism and financial services. According to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, the Philadelphia area had a total gross metropolitan product of $347 billion in 2010, the seventh-largest metropolitan economy in the United States.

The city is home to the Philadelphia Stock Exchange and several Fortune 500 companies, including cable television and internet provider Comcast, insurance companies Colonial Penn, CIGNA and Lincoln Financial Group, energy company Sunoco, food services company Aramark and Crown Holdings Incorporated, chemical makers Rohm and Haas Company and FMC Corporation, pharmaceutical companies Wyeth and GlaxoSmithKline, Boeing Rotorcraft Systems, and automotive parts retailer Pep Boys. Early in the 20th century, it was also home to the pioneering brass era automobile company Biddle.

The federal government has several facilities in Philadelphia. The city served as the capital city of the United States, before the construction of Washington, D.C. Today, the East Coast operations of the United States Mint are based near the historic district, and the Federal Reserve Bank's Philadelphia division is based there as well. Philadelphia is also home to the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit.

With the historic presence of the Pennsylvania Railroad, and the large ridership at 30th Street Station, Amtrak maintains a significant presence in the city. These jobs include customer service representatives and ticket processing and other behind-the-scenes personnel, in addition to the normal functions of the railroad.

The city is also a legal center. It is home to the law schools of Penn, Drexel, Temple, Rutgers (Camden), Villanova, and Widener. The headquarters of the American Law Institute is located in the city as well as the Third Circuit Court of Appeals. Ten of the 100 largest law firms in the US have their headquarters or largest office in Philadelphia.

Philadelphia is an important center for medicine, a distinction that it has held since the colonial period. The city is home to the first hospital in the British North American colonies, Pennsylvania Hospital, and the first medical school in what is now the United States, at the University of Pennsylvania (Penn). Penn, the city's largest private employer, also runs a large teaching hospital and extensive medical system. There are also major hospitals affiliated with Temple University School of Medicine, Drexel University College of Medicine, Thomas Jefferson University, and Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine. Philadelphia also has three distinguished children's hospitals: Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, the nation's first pediatric hospital (located adjacent to the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania), St. Christopher's Hospital, and the Shriners' Hospital. In the city's northern section are Albert Einstein Medical Center, and in the northeast section, Fox Chase Cancer Center. Together, health care is the largest sector of employment in the city. Several medical professional associations are headquartered in Philadelphia.

With Philadelphia's importance as a medical research center, the region supports the pharmaceutical industry. GlaxoSmithKline, AstraZeneca, Wyeth, Merck, GE Healthcare, Johnson and Johnson and Siemens Medical Solutions are just some of the large pharmaceutical companies with operations in the region. The city is also home to the nation's first school of pharmacy, the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy, now called the University of the Sciences in Philadelphia.

See also: List of companies based in the Philadelphia area

Tourism is a major industry in Philadelphia, which was the 11th-most-visited city in the United States in 2008. It welcomed 710,000 visitors from foreign countries in 2008, up 29% from the previous year.

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