Detroit’s unemployment decreases, number of auto-manufacturing jobs remains steady

For the month of February, Detroit’s unemployment rate decreased while the number of employed began to increase. When looking at the auto-manufacturing field specifically, there was only a slight increase in the number of people employed from January to February.

•Unemployment and underemployment rates decrease, while the number of employed increases. The number of auto manufacturing and auto parts manufacturing employees remained steady from January 2013 to February (monthly);
•Purchasing manager’s index decreased from January 2013 to February 2013 (monthly);
•Commodity price index increased from January 2013 to February 2013s (monthly);
•The most recent consumer price index changes for all and all items less food and energy increased (bi-monthly);
•Building permits pulled decreased for Wayne, Oakland and Macomb counties from February to March. When comparing March of this year to March of 2012, the number of building permits pulled for each county is below what was pulled at this time last year (monthly).

According to the most recent data provided by the Michigan Department of Technology, Management and Budget, the February 2013 unemployment rate for the State of Michigan was 8.8 per 100 people, which is 0.1 below where it was from November of 2012 to January of 2013. For the City of Detroit, 18 percent of the population were unemployed in January 2013; the February rate is a decrease of 1.8 percent from the city’s percentage of unemployed in January.


The number of employed in the City of Detroit increased by 3,810 people from January to February of 2013.


The above chart shows the number of people employed in auto manufacturing industry in the Detroit Metropolitan Statistical Area throughout 2012 and into 2013. Employment peaked in February 2013 continued to increase from its January peak. With 90,700 people being employed in both the auto manufacturing and auto parts manufacturing industries this is 200 more people than January. This is also 12,400 more people employed in this sector of the job market than in February of 2012.


Although the underemployment rate in Michigan and the U.S declined for 2012, it is still about 5 percentage points above where it was in 2006, for both. Also, it should be noted that Michigan’s underemployment rate has consistently remained above that of the U.S.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, this measure of worker underutilization includes the total unemployed, total of part-time employed for economic reasons, discouraged workers, and other marginally attached workers. This measure of the underemployment  does not consider this group of people as unemployed because they had not looked for work in the four weeks prior to the rate being calculated.

To learn more on underemployment read the following articles:


According to the most recent data released on Southeastern Michigan’s Purchasing Manager’s Index, the number increased by 4 points from February 2013 to March 2013; in March it was recorded at 55.7. The recorded number for February of this year is 10.4 points below where it was in 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. The PMI of 55.7 means expansion continues and with the rise of 4 points in month it means that expansion was accelerated.


The Commodity Price Index, which is a weighted average of selected commodity prices for Southeast Michigan, fluctuated throughout 2012. For January and February of 2013 it appeared to be following the same trend as 2012. However, for the month of March there was a decrease from February; the decrease was by 10.4 points. Also, when comparing the Commodity Price Index from March 2012 to March 2013 there was a 6.7 point decrease.




The above charts show the number of residential building permits obtained each month in Oakland, Macomb, and Wayne counties from February 2012 until the present. 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. The information presented shows that the number of building permits obtained in Wayne, Oakland and Macomb counties this month decreased from February and is also below where they were in March of 2012. Macomb County had the largest difference in numbers reported in March of 2012 and March of 2013. For 2012, Macomb County reported that 172 building permits were pulled and in 2013 it has been reported that 72 permits were pulled.

According to the Southeastern Michigan Council of Governments data used for these charts, there have been zero building permits pulled in the City of Detroit in 2013 thus far.