Detroit Is The Worst City In America To Find A Job, Says Report

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We all know that although the streetlights are back on in the city, and there have been various signs of progress, there is still a lot of work to be done when it comes to Detroit’s comeback.

The city of Detroit (we reached out and double checked with Wallethub that it was the city proper) ranks dead last (150 of 150) in the nation for employment opportunity, according to a report by Wallethub and reported by national outlets.

The analysis compared 150 of the most populated U.S. cities across 23 key indicators of job-market strength. They range from job opportunities to employment growth to median annual income.

Other indicators included the fewest job opportunities in the city (we’ve talked before about how there are only 3.7 jobs in the city for every 10 residents, with 3 of 4 of those jobs being taken by suburbanites), the lowest median income (even after adjusted for cost of living).

A mistake according to an analyst? The continued focus on factories, limiting our progress.

“Detroit is really trying to improve, but by putting efforts into more factory jobs, it’s not expanding industries and so I don’t know how much improvement we will see there,” Wallethub analyst Jill Gonzalez told NBC News.

Recently, there have been a variety of projects touted to bring manufacturing jobs, including Flex ‘N Gate on the east side of Detroit. Other programs, like Motor City Match (which Vice President Joe Biden is in town for today to announce new winners) help match capital for brick and mortar businesses.

As we’ve highlighted before, the employment gap is large in the city. Almost half of Detroit residents have not had work in the last twelve months, according to a recent JP Morgan Chase report.

The top cities in the nation? The focus has clearly moved west.

Raleigh, North Carolina takes the 10 spot; then we have Tempe, AZ; Salt Lake City, UT; Chandler, AZ; Rancho Cucamonga, CA; San Francisco, CA; Sioux Falls, SD; Orlando, FL; Plano, TX and then in the top spot, Scottsdale, AZ.

The bottom five are Buffalo, NY; Newark, NJ; Bakersfield, CA; Fresno, CA and then Detroit.

Our two cents: Some might see this as being negative, but if you can’t be real about the challenges being faced, you can’t properly address them. There are definitely organizations that are bright spots trying to make a difference, as we’ve highlighted before. Do you have an idea for a solution? Leave it in the comments.

2 comments
  • It sounds like bull—-, especially if they’re weighing their analysis on only the city proper, unemployment has been cut in half in the city in the last year alone, the article looks like an ad for Wallethub.

  • Hey Bob… could you link to that data? It seems as if the unemployment rate in the city dropping in half would be in every information outlet and the mayor would be running around with a parade behind him.

    Looking at the data with the Bureau of Labor Statistics website, the city itself last had data posted for 2015.

    The BLS posted 2015 for the city here, the most recent available – https://www.bls.gov/lau/lacilg15.htm – and the unemployment rate was 12.4%. 2014 was 16.3%. A significant reduction, but not half.

    Now, if you look at the metro rate, here – https://www.bls.gov/lau/lamtch15.htm – it goes from 8.3% to 6.2%.

    This chart, here – https://ycharts.com/indicators/detroit_mi_unemployment_rate – pegs the city’s official unemployment rate as 11.10% in January of 2016, and 10.4% as of November 2016. Again, a reduction, but not half. Those numbers are in the same neighborhood as in this report, 10.7%, here – https://www.jpmorganchase.com/corporate/news/pr/document/csw-chase-report-untapped-talent.pdf

    Regardless of unemployment data (it would be amazing if the city was actually down around 5% unemployment), it’s also important to realize their survey isn’t just unemployment rates. It’s a variety of factors.

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