From 1990 to 2011 the unemployed number of civilians living in the Detroit region tracks (though at a lower level) the number of people living in Wayne County. While the trend line is almost identical, unemployment numbers in Wayne County were higher than the Detroit region in more recent years. This is because the Detroit region, as defined by the Census, includes much of Wayne County. For example, in 2011, the number of unemployed in the Detroit region was 103,348 whereas the number of unemployed in Wayne County was 105,659. Unemployment numbers for the Detroit region consistently remained higher than those in Oakland and Macomb counties, reflecting the larger population, but also greater numbers of unemployed.
Since 1990, both the number of unemployed and the jobless rate for the Detroit region were at their lowest in 2000 and their highest in 2009. In 2000, the jobless rate was 4.3 percent, and nine years later that number jumped to 16 percent. From 2000 to 2003, the jobless rate was on the rise. It remained steady at about 8.5 percent from 2003 to 2007 and then slightly increased from 2007 to 2008. Between 2008 and 2009 the jobless rate quickly increased from 9.9 percent to 16 percent; by 2011, it had dropped to 12.6 percent.
The number of unemployed civilians in the City of Detroit represented a disproportionate number of the unemployed civilians in Wayne County and the Detroit region. In 2009, the City of Detroit represented 67 percent of the unemployed civilians in Wayne County. As with the State of Michigan, the Wayne-Oakland-Macomb tri-county area, and Detroit region, the City of Detroit similarly experienced its highest number of unemployed civilians in 2009 and has declined since then.
When comparing the jobless rate of the Detroit region, which is made up of the cities Detroit, Dearborn, and Livonia, with the jobless rate in just the City of Detroit, the City’s jobless rate has consistently remained higher. For example, when the jobless rate was at its peak in 2009, it was 24.8 percent for the City of Detroit and 16 percent for the Detroit region. The rate for the City of Detroit had declined to 19.9 by the end of 2011. From 1990 to 2011, the lowest jobless rate for the City of Detroit was 7.3 percent in 2000. By comparison, the lowest jobless rate for the Detroit region was 4.3 percent in 2000.