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Detroit's Economic Improvement - 10/14/15

For many years, Detroit was often used as the example of a struggling American community.  That’s not so much the case anymore.  In August, the Detroit regional unemployment rate stood at five point six percent, a fifteen year low and not much above the national reading of five point one percent. 

The Detroit metropolitan area’s unemployment rate has declined two point seven percent in the last year alone.  That marks the largest decline among the fifty one metropolitan areas with more than one million residents.  The region’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate rose above sixteen percent in two thousand and nine and as reported by the Wall Street Journal, was above ten percent as recently as April twenty thirteen.  A rebounding U.S. auto sector is at the heart of Detroit’s resurgence. 

The mix of vehicles being purchased is tilting toward Detroit’s favor as well.  Lower fuel prices have Americans buying more light trucks and SUVs.  That benefits Ford and GM in particular, sellers of two of the nation’s most popular pickup trucks.  Overall, the Detroit region has added more than forty five thousand jobs over the past year; an increase that puts the metropolitan area on par with Boston and San Jose.

Anirban Basu, Chariman Chief Executive Officer of Sage Policy Group (SPG), is one of the Mid-Atlantic region's leading economic consultants. Prior to founding SPG he was Chairman and CEO of Optimal Solutions Group, a company he co-founded and which continues to operate. Anirban has also served as Director of Applied Economics and Senior Economist for RESI, where he used his extensive knowledge of the Mid-Atlantic region to support numerous clients in their strategic decision-making processes. Clients have included the Maryland Department of Transportation, St. Paul Companies, Baltimore Symphony Orchestra Players Committee and the Martin O'Malley mayoral campaign.