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Oakland University SBA Data Center

Employment Growth 2006-2015: Metro Detroit Lags Other Regions

The table shows the percentage change in employment from 2006 (prior to the recession) to 2015 (latest available data). Metro Detroit's employment growth over this period is -2.97 percent - regional employment remains below the level prior to the recession.

In contrast, the 10-city average employment growth rate since 2006 is 4.54 percent.

The chart displays the yearly percentage change in employment from 2006 for metro Detroit, the 10-city average, and Dallas (the region with the greatest employment growth). Metro Detroit employment began to decline before the recession, and then experienced a more severe decline during the recession than any of the other 9 regions. Metro Detroit experienced a 13.2 percent decline in employment in 2010 from 2006 compared with a decline of 4.6 percent for the 10 city average. Employment locally has rebounded since the recession end at a rate consistent with other regions, but employment remains below 2006 levels.

Metro Detroit employment is highly cyclical and dependent on the automobile industry. While the local auto companies earned record profits in 2015 with associated profit sharing payouts to employees, employment locally remains substantially below previous levels. The local economy remains at risk of an adverse shock to the automobile industry.

Laura Tack, Research Assistant

Jonathan Silberman, PhD

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