According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the US unemployment rate in December 2014 was 5.6 percent, which was more than one percent better than the previous year. Comparatively, the Detroit unemployment rate was 7.6 percent in December 2014.
How Certain Industries Have Impacted Detroit Unemployment
BLS data collected from 2013 to 2014 shows just over 369,000 workers held jobs in the professional and business services sector. That industry showed a two percent rise across the reporting period. About 27,000 people living in the Detroit, MI economic area held jobs in the information sector, which showed a 0.7 percent decline across the reporting period.
The trade, transportation and utilities industries tell more favorable stories. There was 364,000 individuals employed in those types of jobs across the respective timeframe; these industries saw a slight rise in the number of employed people.
Industries That Are Likely to Boost Detroit's Job Market
According to the BLS Detroit Area Economic Summary, there were just over 303,000 people employed in the education and health services sector within the city in December 2014. That industry showed growth of 1.6 percent from 2013 to 2014, and opportunities in those areas are likely to positively affect the local unemployment rate by presenting opportunities for qualified job seekers.
Detroit’s healthcare industry is one that the BLS projects will grow much faster than the national average through 2022. Additionally, education-related jobs should grow about as fast as average nationally. Because jobs in education services make up a large portion of Detroit's job market, it's likely that the trend will cause positive changes in the local unemployment rate.
Job opportunities in construction climbed from 2013 to 2014, contributing to an overall workforce of about 60,500 people, according to the BLS. Nationally, the construction industry, in particular, has a good economic outlook due to the demand for new construction by businesses and homeowners. If that trend holds true at a local level, this industry should help decrease Detroit's unemployment level.
Also, while the automotive industry is not as strong as it once was, Detroit still retains manufacturing plants that collectively employ more than 130,000 people.
Potentially Waning Industries in Detroit
Jobs in financial activities in Detroit fell from 2013 to 2014, which by itself indicates the overall industry is on the decline.
However, national BLS data shows finance-related jobs, such as those in healthcare, should grow much faster than the United States average through 2022. That's due in large part to rising life expectancies and population growth. Together, those factors create an increased need for professionals who are well-versed in financial planning.
Leisure and hospitality job opportunities also declined in Detroit across the reporting period, although that industry employs more than 160,000 individuals.
Economic Recovery Since the 2008 Recession
From 2008 to 2009, Detroit's unemployment rate climbed from 9.9 to 16.2 percent, indicating the area was hit hard by the 2008 recession that impacted the nation. However, things began improving as early as the next year, when the annual 2010 employment rate was just 12.6 percent.
Detroit's economy got slightly better in 2011, when unemployment was at 12.5 percent.
The rate for 2012 and 2013 was 11.3 and 10.5 percent respectively, showing that even though the recession caused a major increase in Detroit's unemployment rate, recovery followed soon after and the positive trend was consistent.
A key measure of labor supply, the unemployment rate is defined as the percentage of the total labor force that is unemployed but actively seeking employment and willing to work. Use the links below to see unemployment trends from the 28 major metropolitan markets:
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