Over the past decade much has been said about the collapse of the job market in Detroit, Michigan. What recent news doesn't touch on, though, is its rise back to becoming an employment powerhouse. Slowly but surely, the unemployment rate is falling and job seekers will want to give Detroit a second chance.
No idling in Motor City
Detroit, the heart of Michigan, currently has around 680,000 people living in the city, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Residents certainly get their fair share of all four seasons, with scorching summers and chilly winters. U.S. Climate Data pegged the average annual high temperature at 57 degrees Fahrenheit, and the average annual low at 41 degrees.
Those in the city have access to all of the amenities that come with living in a major metropolitan area. There's usually something going on, whether it be downtown at the bars or an event in the park. Greektown Casino Hotel provides access to gambling, while the Detroit Historical Museum lets you get an interactive look at the history of the city. Looking to catch a sports game? Detroit plays host to a number of storied franchises, like the National Hockey League's Detroit Red Wings, Major League Baseball's Detroit Tigers, the National Basketball Association's Detroit Pistons and the National Football League's Detroit Lions. And for those grease monkeys out there, don't forget about what made Detroit famous in the first place – the Motor City plays host to the annual North American International Auto Show, one of the largest of its kind.
The abundance of activities in the area means you'll have an easy time being able to find something to do on the weekend, but the job market is what's driving people to the area.
'Mo Money in Motown
Detroit's unemployment rate is just a tick above the national average at 5.6 percent, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. In the Detroit-Warren-Dearborn area, there are just over 1.9 million people who hold jobs.
It's interesting to note that the local government sector is the only market to experience negative job growth in the last two months, at just -1.1 percent. Otherwise, Detroit's economy is prospering across the board:
- Nearly 400,000 work in professional and business services, which grew at 4.1 percent over the last year.
- Around 240,000 find employment in manufacturing, which steadily hired at a 1.9 percent clip.
- Just 110,000 work in financial services, yet it has had a sector growth of 5.4 percent over the past year.
- About 188,000 are employed in the leisure and hospitality sector, which has grown considerably at 3.2 percent.
This across-the- board growth would have been inconceivable between five and ten years ago. The legal market in Detroit provides one shining example of this. "It's astounding to watch and participate in the rebound within the legal market in Detroit," says Tony Ventimiglia, Division Director for Beacon Hill Legal in Detroit. "In 2008-09, the majority of law firms were laying off non-equity partners, associate attorneys, and support staff. Paralegals and legal assistants were hit particularly hard. Fast-forward, beginning in 2014 and up to now… there aren't enough experienced litigation paralegals to satisfy the demand. Lateral hiring of attorneys within law firms has resurged to pre-recession levels. Finally, the recovery of the automotive industry as a whole has driven in-house attorney and support staff hiring to levels I haven't seen before. My team is grateful to help all our clients, law firm and corporate, find the legal talent they need."
All of the major job markets in Detroit are growing, but you may not hear about it on the news. Numbers tell a story of triumph, and job seekers may want to give the city a second look.