Marriage coming at a later age for most

According to a recent column in The New York Times, the national marriage rate isn’t necessarily declining. Rather, people are choosing to get married at an older age (late 20s compared to late teens). To learn about why read the article here. Also, to get a look at marriage rates for Detroit check out our recent post here.

Jobs in healthcare on the rise

A look at the information presented below shows the numbers of healthcare related jobs becoming available are on the rise. As this industry is expected to grow in the Detroit area (Lapeer, Monroe, Macomb, Oakland, St. Clair and Wayne counties) job loss in the manufacturing industry is expected to continue through 2018. Overall in the area there is expected to be about 112,000 more jobs added to the Detroit area labor market through 2018; this is a 5.5 percent growth.

All of the information presented on job growth and decline spans over 10 years, from 2008 to 2018.

Of the industry and occupation forecasts examined in this post, the industry forecasts are produced by the Michigan Department of Management, Technology and Budget.  The industry forecasts are based on historical job trends in the specific industry and the expected short-term, or long-term demand, in those sectors. These demands are determined by industry experts and the Michigan Department of Management, Technology and Budget. Once the industry projections are produced, information on occupational staffing patterns and the shifting trends in such occupational patterns are examined. The examination of these patterns is then used to generate the occupational forecasts.

According to the Michigan Department of Management, Technology and Budget, since a specific occupation is often found in many industries, the relative concentration of an occupation in high demand or low demand industries impacts the overall expected growth rate.  Technology factors are also used because the impact of technological change can decrease or increase future jobs in specific occupations.



The above charts show the top 10 jobs the Michigan Department of Technology, Management and Budget predicts will experience the highest percent of growth from 2008-2018 in the Detroit area. While the percentage of growth for the above occupations range from 48 to 26 percent, the raw numbers show the growth will not be that significant. For example, there is a projected 36.3 percent growth in the financial examiner occupation in the Detroit area through 2018. However, when looking at the raw numbers it shows that 36 percent growth is equivalent to 65 jobs over a 10 year span.

Occupations are defined as a set of activities or tasks that persons are paid to perform. Someone can have the same occupation as another person and not be employed in the same industry.


The above chart shows the expected top 10 growing occupations in the Detroit area through 2018, based on raw or absolute numbers. While three health related occupations are on the top 10 list based on percent of growth, they did not make this top 10 list on raw numbers. According to the Michigan Department of Technology, Management and Budget, healthcare practitioners and technical related occupations will experience the most growth with an expected 18,911 increase in jobs through 2018. There are four healthcare related occupations that are expected to add about 92,000 jobs in the Detroit area in the coming years. The two computer and technology occupations on the list are expected to add about 19,000 jobs.



While health and computer related fields are among the occupations suggested to experience growth through 2018, it is the manual labor based jobs that are suggested to decline, according to the Michigan Department of Technology, Management and Budget. The above two charts show the top 10 declining occupations in the Detroit area based on percent of decline. Drilling and boring occupations are expected to decline the most by percent through 2018. However, when looking at the raw numbers of the 10 occupations shown above, postal service sorters and processors are expected lose the most number of jobs.


When examining the top 10 occupations expected to experience the most job loss through 2018 based on raw numbers, most are related to manufacturing processes.  There is only one listed in the top 10 declining occupations based on percent decline. This occupation is the postal service sorters and processors. The Michigan Department of Technology, Management and Budget expects there to be a loss of 1,006 positions in this occupation through 2018. The production occupation is expected to experience the largest decline in jobs, based on raw numbers from 2008 to 2018. There is an estimated loss of 16,818 jobs.



Of the top 10 growing industries in the Detroit area, based on percent growth, three are healthcare related and one is technology related. When examining the raw numbers of the top 10 growing industries based on percent growth the healthcare and social assistance industry is expected to grow the most, by 47,421 jobs in the 10 year period.

An industry is a group of establishments that produces similar goods and services.


When just examining the raw numbers of expected job increases of the top growing industries in the Detroit area, the healthcare and social assistance industry is expected to experience the most amount of growth. This industry is expected to produce an additional 47,421 jobs through 2018.



When looking at the raw numbers of the industries presented in the above two charts, fabricated metal product manufacturing is expected to experience the largest decline with a loss of 4,144 jobs. Machine manufacturing came in closely behind with an expected loss of 3,836 jobs.


When examining declining industries in the Detroit area, six of the top 10 declining industries, based on percent of decline, match those on the top 10 declining list based on just the raw numbers.  Of those six that match both lists, four industries are manufacturing based. Overall, the Michigan Department of Technology, Management and Budget is expecting a loss of 40,332 manufacturing related industry jobs in the Detroit area through 2018.

For further information on Michigan’s “Hot 50” jobs visit here.

Educational attainment: The drop out rate is declining while the graduation rate is increasing

There is good news for Detroit’s children in this post. Both the graduation rate and the drop out rate are improving. This post shows, among other indicators of educational attainment, that the drop out rate in Detroit’s schools is declining, while the graduation rate is increasing.

In this post we also present educational attainment information by Census tract for the City of Detroit and a comparison of educational attainment for the City of Detroit and the State of Michigan.



From 2007 to 2009, the graduation rate for Detroit Public Schools slowly increased. After a drop to 59.7 percent in 2011, the Detroit graduation rate rose to 64.7 percent in 2012. In the same time frame, the State of Michigan’s graduation rate has not dipped below 74.3 percent. In 2012, it was recorded at 76.2 percent. Thus, there is some closing of the gap between Detroit and the state.

The same is true for drop out rates. The drop out rates for both Detroit and Michigan decreased from 2007 to 2009 and then remained relatively flat from 2009 to 2012. Nevertheless, the gap between the state and Detroit declined.

The graduation rates examined are based on the percentage of each four year cohort that graduates.



According to information from the 2007-2011 American Community Survey, 28.3 percent of the Detroit’s population aged 18 to 24 years old had less than a high school diploma. The percentage for all Michigan residents was 17.4 percent. Those with a high school degree, or equivalent, comprised 33.4 percent and those with some college made up 34.6 percent of this same population. In the 2007-2011 time frame there were 3.7 percent of Detroit residents with a bachelor’s degree or higher. For Michigan, this was 6.7 percent.



In both Detroit and Michigan, the highest level of education attained by most residents aged 25 and older was a high school degree, or the equivalent: 33.4 percent in Detroit and 31.1 percent in Michigan.  Those with some college education, but no degree, made up 25.3 percent of the 25 and older population in Detroit and 23.8 percent in Michigan. While the city and state had similar rates in those two categories, Detroit had higher percentages of residents with less than a high school diploma and Michigan had higher percentages of residents with college degrees.


(Please click maps to make larger)

The above map shows the number of Detroit residents who received a high school diploma, or the equivalent, according to the American Community Survey 2007-2011 5-year estimate. The lowest levels of those who only earned a diploma are in the city’s inner core. Some of these locations in the lightest shade of purple are primarily industrial centers or commercial properties. There were nine Census tracts, shown in the darkest shade of purple, where at least 500 residents had a minimum of a high school diploma.


College graduates in Detroit are concentrated in three areas. These include, first, the far east side, areas adjacent to the Pointes.  Second there is a corridor along the Jefferson Boulevard into downtown and then up through Midtown. Third, a large area of the Northwest has a high number of college graduates.

To see our previous post educational attainment click here.

Great Lakes cargo loads inching up after 2009 drop


The map above is provided to give readers a perspective on the hydraulic system that makes up the Great Lakes, which are a focus of this post. The information provided in the above map by Indiana University is the historical long-term averages and record highs and lows for the each of the hydraulic systems in the Great Lakes basin. Lake Michigan and Lake Huron are grouped as one throughout this post as they are hydraulically the same body of water. Also, it must be kept in mind that Lake Superior is the largest and deepest of the lakes followed by Lake Michigan/Huron, Lake St. Clair, Lake Erie, and then Lake Ontario.


Information provided by the Canadian Coast Guard shows that the number of cargo trips made on the Detroit River and Lake St. Clair has decreased since 2006 (the Canadian Coast Guard could only provide information from 2005 to 2012). After a significant drop in 2009, the number of cargo vessel transits increased in 2010 and 2011;there was a slight decrease in 2012. While there is evidence the number of vessel trips being made has experienced an overall decrease since 2005, the Canadian Coast Guard does not track the weight of cargo on the vessels, said Canadian Coast Guard Regional Program Specialist John North.

There were 8,420 trips made in 2005 compared to 6,350 made in 2012. The numbers for each year do not include trips made by passenger vessel ferries, Coast Guard vessels, Navy vessels, vessels used for dredging and tug boats.

While lower water levels do cause cargo ships to have to carry lighter loads, Glen Nekvasil, vice president of the Lake Carriers’ Association, a trade association based out of Rocky River, Ohio, said the decrease is likely associated to the economy. He said the number of cargo trips wouldn’t increase if vessels had to carry lighter loads because vessels can only make a certain number of trips a year because of weather and speed. Cargo ships typically haul materials from March to December and already operate at their top speed, he said.


The St. Lawrence Seaway is made up of locks, canals and channels that allow vessels to travel from the Atlantic Ocean to the Great Lakes, and vice versa. These vessels can travel as far inland as the western end of Lake Superior.

The above chart shows the total number of vessel transits, both those coming into the Great Lakes or exiting them, on the St. Lawrence Seaway System between 1993 and 2012. In 2009, there was a drop in the total number of transits made; that number was recorded at 3,631. By 2012, though, that number increased to 4,083 vessel transits. The vessels included in data from the St. Lawrence Seaway include cargo vessels, government based vessels carrying cargo and tug boats.


In 2009, the tonnage of limestone carried throughout the Great Lakes reached a low of 23,504,132; this declining trend began in 2007. There was an increase in the amount of limestone carried between 2009 and 2011, followed by a slight decrease between 2011 and 2012. In 2012, 27,147,231 tons of limestone were transported on the Great Lakes.

According to Nekvasil, limestone is the most common type of cargo carried on vessels in the Great Lakes. It is quarried in Michigan, Ontario and Ohio and transported throughout the Great Lakes and the St. Lawrence Seaway.


The tonnage of iron ore cargo carried throughout the Great Lakes also reached a low in 2009 at 32,552,016 tons compared to 61,136,841 tons in 2008. Beginning in 2010, the number of tons transported increased; in 2012, 61,599,321 tons were carried.

Iron ore is mined in northern Minnesota, the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, in northern Quebec and western Labrador in the Great Lakes region.


While there was a significant decrease in the tonnage of coal carried on the Great Lakes from 2008 to 2009, it was in 2012 when the smallest annual load of coal, for the timeframe examined, was carried. According to the Lake Carriers’ Association, there was 25,347,709 tons of coal carried in 2012. Except for a slight increase between 2009 and 2010, there has been a steady drop-off in the tonnage carried since 2008.

Coal transported on the Great Lakes is mined in several locations including Montana, Wyoming, West Virginia and Pennsylvania.


Beginning in 2004, the amount of cement carried on the Great Lakes began to decrease. In 2009 it then hit an all-time low, for the period examined, of 4,016,999 tons. Since then, the amount of cement carried has remained consistent. In 2011, 4,019,675 tons of cement cargo were carried.

Cement carried on the Great Lakes is produced in several locations in Michigan and Ontario.

Data for 2012 was not available.


Unlike the other types of cargo examined in this post, during the period observed, 2009 was the peak year for the amount of salt carried on the Great Lakes. In 2009, 12,611,308 tons of salt were transported; that number decreased in 2010 to 8,940,502 tons. There was a slight increase in tonnage carried in 2011 where 10,879,102 tons of salt were transported.

From 2000 to 2009 there was an overall increasing trend in the amount of salt transported on the Great Lakes.

Salt is mined throughout the Great Lakes region including Ontario, Michigan and Ohio.

Data for 2012 was not available.


The above chart shows the current water levels of the Great Lakes and Lake St. Clair, which is the largest delta in the hydraulic system, along with their record highs and lows in May. While none of the bodies of water are currently below the record low levels, four of the five hydraulic systems that make up the Great Lakes are near such levels.

For Lake Superior, the record low for the month of May was 182.76 meters and current levels reported by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers are at 183.09 meters.

For the Lake Michigan/Lake Huron hydraulic body of water, 175.93 meters was the record low for May and current water levels were recorded at 175.93.

The record low for Lake St. Clair in May was 174.42 meters and current conditions were recoded at 174.82 meters.

For Lake Erie, the lowest recorded water level in May was 173.44 meters and current conditions were recorded at 174.09 meters.

Lake Ontario has the largest gap from the record low water level for the month of May and the current recorded level. The record low was recorded at 73.08 meters and current conditions were recorded at 74.88 meters.

Depending on the size of the vessel and the type of cargo being carried, 50 to 270 tons of cargo may need to come off the boat for every inch of draft exposed on the ship because of the decreased water levels, according to Nekvasil.

Detroit’s unemployment decreases, Purchasing Manager’s and Commodity Price indexes remain steady

•For the month of April 2013, Detroit’s unemployment rate decreased while the number of employed remained steady.
•When looking at the auto-manufacturing employment, the data showed employment in this industry continued to increase since January 2013 for the Detroit Metropolitan Statistical Area.
•Purchasing Manager’s Index remained steady from March 2013 to April 2013 for Southeast Michigan (monthly);
•Commodity Price Index decreased from March 2013 to April 2013 for Southeast Michigan (monthly);
•The most recent Consumer Price Index changes for all and all items less food and energy showed no increase (bi-monthly) for the Detroit-Ann Arbor-Flint area;
•Building permits pulled increased for Wayne and Oakland counties from March 2013 to April 2013; they decreased for Macomb County (monthly).

According to the most recent data provided by the Michigan Department of Technology, Management and Budget, the March 2013 and April 2013 unemployment rates for the State of Michigan were 8.8 and 8.4 per 100 people, respectively. Since July 2012, the unemployment rates for the State of Michigan decreased. For the City of Detroit, the unemployment rate for March and April of this year were 17.5 and 16. While there have been fluctuations in the city’s unemployment rate, the unemployment rate in the City of Detroit was 15.8 in April 2012, just .2 lower than the April 2013 rate.


Since February 2013, the unemployment rate in the City of Detroit decreased while the number of employed slightly increased.

In March 2013, there were 280,363 employed Detroit residents and in April 2013 it was reported there were 280,367 people employed.


The above chart shows the number of people employed in the auto manufacturing industry in the Detroit Metropolitan Statistical Area from April 2012 to April 2013. Employment sharply increased in January 2013 and continued to increase through April 2013. In April 2013, 92,800 people were employed in both the auto manufacturing and auto parts manufacturing industries, which is 15,300 more than were employed in this sector in April 2012.


The Purchasing Manger’s Index (PMI) is a composite index derived from five indicators of economic activity: new orders, production, employment, supplier deliveries, and inventories; a PMI above 50 means the economy is expanding. According to the most recent data released on Southeastern Michigan’s Purchasing Manager’s Index, the number decreased by .4 points from March 2013 to April 2013; in April it was recorded at 55.3. The PMI of 55.3 indicates the economy was expanding. The recorded number for April of this year, however, is 7.3 points below where it was in 2012.


The Commodity Price Index, which is a weighted average of selected commodity prices for Southeast Michigan, fluctuated throughout 2012. For January and February 2013 the index appeared to be following the same pattern as 2012. However,  there was a decrease of 8.8 points from March 2013 to April 2013. From February 2013 to April 2013 there was a 16.7 point decrease.  When comparing the Commodity Price Index from April 2012 to April 2013 there was a 6.9 point decrease.



The Consumer Price Index measures the change in prices. The prices which are measured are based on prices of “food, clothing, shelter, fuels, transportation fares, charges for doctors’ and dentists’ services, drugs, and the other goods and services that people buy for day-to-day living,” according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The above graphs show the percent change in the price index measurements. This means although the graph appears to show a decrease from February there was no change since the percent change is 0.

The Consumer Price Index, which is reported every two months, did not change from February 2013 to April 2013 for the Detroit-Ann Arbor-Flint area. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics this is mainly based on the fact that energy and food costs did not experience much increase within the past two months. From February to April there was a .1 decrease in the energy index and a .3 increase in the food index. The Consumer Price Index minus the prices of energy and food, shown in the second Consumer Price Index graph, also remained the same. This stability was based around the fact that the price for apparel and shelter rose while medical costs decreased, according to the BLS.




The above charts show the number of residential building permits obtained each month in Oakland, Macomb, and Wayne counties from January 2012 until April 2013. These numbers are reported by local municipalities to the Southeastern Michigan Council of Governments and include single family, two family, attached condo, and multi-family units. Macomb County was the only one of the three counties that did not experience an increase in the number of permits obtained from March to April in either 2012 or 2013.  Oakland County had the largest increase in the number of building permits pulled from March to April of this year. For Oakland County, there was an increase in 82 permits pulled. In Wayne County, there was a 53 permit increase.

When comparing the number of permits pulled in April 2012 and April 2013, all three counties showed an increase over the previous year.

In the coming weeks Drawing Detroit will be posting a map showing where growth in the housing industry is taking place in Macomb, Oakland and Wayne counties; please check back for updates.