Like a significant percentage of Americans, I waste huge amounts of time trolling various social networks. 99% of what I read is truly useless, stealing hours upon hours that I will never get back. But every so often I come across something that is worthy of sharing. Or, writing a Forbes post about.
Today’s nugget was this article about Detroit’s hiring market. As recent as three or four months ago, you might have expected to click the link and see news about yet another population retraction or spiking unemployment.
But, no. Not this time. Turns out 27% of Detroit employers plan on adding staff, compared to only 5% who plan on reducing. Those numbers are fifth best in the nation.
You read that right. Detroit ranks fifth in the nation for third-quarter hiring projections.
Nationally, Detroit is riding a wave of goodwill. Perhaps it started with Chrysler’s “Imported From Detroit” campaign a couple of Super Bowls ago. And who knows, maybe my film “Lemonade: Detroit” contributed in some small way toward shifting the dialogue away from pity and toward hope and optimism.
Whatever the cause, whatever the reason, Detroit is beginning to realize the potential it always knew it had. Potential the rest of the nation doubted was even there.
Backed by a resurgent automotive industry and a long line of companies moving all or part of their operations downtown (Chrysler did it. So did Quicken Loans, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, Lambert Edwards Public Relations, and countless small/entrepreneurial businesses), Detroit is now one of the best cities in the country to be a job hunter.
Detroiters will tell you, whoa, not so fast. Within those very numbers, we see that education is one of the sectors that is shedding jobs. There’s still 15.8% unemployment. The poverty level is above 30%. We’re not out of the woods yet.
All true. But there are “woods,” like the dark thickets of unemployment lines and population retraction and fleeing businesses of Detroit’s recent past. And then there are “woods” with a clearing in the horizon, macheted away by manufacturers and retailers and professional services who are daring to hire again.
It’s interesting to note that the Facebook post – the one I referenced in the first paragraph above – immediately drew a skeptical comment from one Detroiter. He compared this news to the gains Toyota realized right after the tsunami. The commenter wrote, “Thousands lost their jobs in Michigan, many left, so any gains will appear significant considering the job loss this area experienced.”
The forces of pessimism will always be the yin to the yang of good news. But if my Spidey senses are right, the collective national dialogue now leans sanguine. The optimists can smell victory. And they won’t quit fighting until Detroit is theirs.