Thursday, July 23, 2009

Michigan's Urban Depression

Michigan's economic downturn is well known, but in the state's aging industrial cities, the crisis has reached a level comparable with the Great Depression. According to Michigan's Department of Labor & Economic Growth, twelve cities had seasonally-unadjusted unemployment rates above 20 percent in June. The two worst-off, Highland Park and Pontiac, had unemployment rates above 30 percent.

Even during the most recent economic boom, times were tough in Michigan's big cities. As the rest of the nation experienced an economic expansion this decade, Detroit's unemployment barely budged, hovering near 14% from 2003 to 2007.

Now that the nation has plunged into recession, the local crisis has deepened dramatically. Unemployment is not only rising but accelerating across the state of Michigan, especially in older cities like Detroit.

I think these statistics underscore the fact (yet again) that we need a comprehensive strategy -- at the local, state, and national level -- to stabilize Rust Belt cities. No city in the United States, however troubled or corrupt its institutions, should have to contend with thirty-percent unemployment.


Evan said...

Preach it.

DetroitDad said...

Part of your plan can be found in emergent urbanism;

Also, check out the write up on new urbanism over on Wikipedia.

Anonymous said...

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