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I love charts happy smiley Seriously, well-presented data makes the world much easier to understand. This page contains charts (courtesy of Google) generated from publicly available data sets.


The following data comes from the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Midwest Information Office in Chicago. The data set contains unadjusted annual data. The data uses two different filters, which I've labeled MSA (the census bureau Metropolitan Statistical Area, covering Detroit-Warren-Livonia), and Local (covering just the Detroit-Livonia-Dearborn area).

As you can see, the Metro Detroit region as a whole saw some meaningful growth between 1983 and 1999: 16% in labor force, and 33% in employment. However, little of this occurred in "local" Detroit, which is somewhat surprising considering the extensive development that has occurred, including the casinos, new housing, the new sports arenas, and the move of GM headquarters into town. However, it appears that the last several years have brought a downturn to both Detroit and the broader Metro Detroit area; Metro Detroit is back to about where it was in 1993-94, while Detroit proper is in worse shape than it was in 1990. Essentially, from 1990 to 1999 employment grew in Detroit and its immediate environs at about half the rate of the entire Metro region, and since 1999 employment has declined in Detroit at about twice the rate of the entire Metro region. Hardly seems fair, does it?