Friday, January 03, 2020

Detroit named worst city to find a job

Landing a job - Photo by FotografieLink/Pixabay
As national unemployment figures continue to be at historic lows, the personal finance website WalletHub ranked Detroit to be the worst city for one to find a job in. This was the result of their researching into a total of 182 American cities and the labor market in those communities.

According to statistics from the Labor Department, the unemployment rate is 3.5% at the national level. Michigan meanwhile ranks 38th with a statewide unemployment rate of 4% and Wayne County has an unemployment rate of 4.5%. Detroit is clearly still behind the rest of Michigan and the rest of the nation.

For their rankings, the staff at WalletHub looked at nine different areas related to finding a job. They compiled data from government and other sources related to those nine areas to determine a ranking in each category. Detroit’s status as the worst place to find a job is a composite of those nine areas.

Rankings in the individual categories did, however, show some positive signs for Detroit. For example, Detroit ranked 23rd out of 182 cities in terms of employment growth. The problem, of course, is that even though Detroit is growing faster than the national average, our city still has a long way to go.

The nine areas that researchers from WalletHub looked at for this ranking are:

  • Average work and commute time where Detroit ranked 40th;
  • Employment growth where we came in with the 23rd fastest growth;
  • Housing affordability where the Motor City ranked 33rd most affordable;
  • Industry variety where the city ranked 165th least;
  • Job opportunities where Motown ranked 179th lowest;
  • Median annual income where we ranked 178th lowest;
  • Monthly average starting salary where we came in 72nd;
  • Percent of workforce living in poverty where Detroit was the 181st highest; and
  • Unemployment rate where we are the 180th highest of the 182 cities.

Taken together, this means that we ranked as better than average in four of the nine categories. It really is the remaining five areas where we are doing so badly.

The key takeaways from all of this, in my opinion, are two points. First, Detroit has made a lot of progress in recent years, particularly in the area of overall employment growth. The strategic neighborhood initiative has been showing some real progress, which I discussed earlier.The housing market is continuing to improve as previously reported. However, we still have a long way to go on our journey to recovery.

Anyone who is interested can download the full report from WalletHub is available for free from here. As for Detroit and its job market, I believe the best thing for us to do is to keep doing what we’ve been doing since leaving bankruptcy. It took us almost half a century to hit rock bottom. It will take several more years for our community to recover.

As always, each step along this journey will be chronicled in this blog. Please subscribe to get regular updates by entering your email address in the upper right corner of this site or by subscribing to one of the RSS feeds. You can also follow along via the Facebook page for this blog.

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