DETROIT, MI – September saw the largest number of employed Detroiters so far this decade, according to preliminary numbers released Monday by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. The new BLS statistics showed that the number of residents working in that month was 228,774, an increase of 2,457 from the month of August.
The BLS numbers also show that unemployment in Detroit dropped sharply from 9.2% in August to 7.9% in September. Detroit’s unemployment rate has dropped steadily since January 2014 when it was nearly 18 percent. In June 2009, Detroit’s unemployment peaked at 28.9% amid the national recession.
“Detroiters have more opportunity today for employment. We continue to see a steady improvement in our employment numbers, which corresponds with significant growth in the number of Detroiters enrolling in our Detroit at Work training programs,” said Mayor Mike Duggan. “The trends are encouraging, although we still have a lot of work to do.”
In 2017-18, more than 2,000 individuals enrolled in training programs through Detroit at Work, compared to fewer than 900 a year ago. Today, residents can access more than 7,200 jobs, as well as an array of free training programs through www.detroitatwork.com to prepare residents for jobs in in-demand fields such as construction skilled trades, health care, hospitality, culinary arts and information technology.
In addition to launching Detroit at Work, the city has been working with major employers, educators, unions, state lawmakers and others to increase access to meaningful work and job training. That has included eliminating driver responsibility fees that have prevented 76,000 Detroit residents from being licensed to drive and growing prison-based training programs that prepare returning citizens for jobs after their release.