Thursday, December 17, 2009

50% of Detroit Workers are Unemployed

Detroit's Mayor Dave Bing believes that his city's actual unemployment rate is closer to 50%, when one adds discouraged workers and part-time workers looking for full time work, to Detroit's "official" unemployment rate of 27%. According to the Detroit News:
Detroiter Michael Kapusniak, 61, is familiar with the problem. He lost his job at a Hamtramck bar when it closed earlier this year and the funeral home where he occasionally helps out has seen most of its business move to the suburbs. "Everybody's closing up," he said. "I've been looking everywhere." So Kapusniak is left to the fruitless task of filling out applications as his checking account dwindles. "There's nothing I can do. The bills are piling up," he said.
Marc Levine, director of the Center for Economic Development at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee who has studied unemployment in the Midwest, said you can get a hint at the depth of the problem by looking at the male jobless rate. For a variety or reasons -- access to transportation, job availability and work skills -- an estimated 48.5 percent of male Detroiters ages 20 to 64 didn't have a job in 2008, according to census figures. For Michigan, it's 26.6 percent; for the United States, 21.7 percent.
At the city of Detroit's one-stop job shop, center director Ron Hunt said the most recent downturn has brought in a different clientele. It includes many with college degrees.

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