Nearly 3,000 Detroiters added to the workforce since April

The following story was originally published on on June 28, 2018, and written by Jayci Forster. Please click here to be redirected from this site to the original story on 

Numbers released by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics show that more Detroiters are working today than any point in time since the national economic decline in 2009.

The most recent statistics are from May 2018, which show 227,894 Detroiters were employed, up nearly 1,700 from April and up 21,326 since January 2014, when Mayor Mike Duggan took office.

BLS numbers also show Detroit’s growing workforce up nearly 3,000 residents since April, another key indicator of the city’s improving economic health. The unemployment rate in May was 7.9%, which is down from nearly 18% in January 2014.

Executive director of workforce development Jeff Donofrio said today’s numbers reflect efforts by the city and the Detroit at Work job training and placement program to connect residents to job opportunities.

“Making sure Detroit’s recovery translates into jobs for Detroiters is something the entire administration works on every day,” Donofrio said.  “We still have a long way to go, but our strategies are working and we are going to continue to build on them.”

The city has taken steps to improve access to jobs, including the creation of the Detroit at Work program. The program connects  Detroit residents to training opportunities for in-demand jobs in fields like construction, health care and IT.

Going beyond job placement, the Duggan administration has also taken steps to break down barriers to employment through Detroit at Work by:

  • Creating a free Driver Responsibility Fee forgiveness program for tens of thousands of Detroit residents to eliminate thousands of dollars in fees and give residents the opportunity to get their driver’s license restored months ahead of schedule. In Detroit alone, 76,000 residents owe an average of $1,600 in responsibility fees.
  • Investing millions in the city’s Career Technical Centers, including Randolph and Breithaupt CTCs, where skilled trades like construction, hospitality, auto mechanics and more are taught to hundreds of Detroit students during the day and hundreds more adults at night.
  • Working with DPS and Quicken Loans to digitize millions of high school transcripts to make them easily accessible to DPS graduates who require them to obtain employment.
  • Launching a prison-based training program that prepares inmates for jobs in environmental remediation, culinary arts, equipment operation and more.

Residents can get connected to over 6,400 open positions and over 130 training programs by visiting or calling 313-962-WORK.

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