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.