Aug 5, 2022 - News

5 stats illustrate Detroit’s middle-wage job gap

Detroit's Woodbridge neighborhood.
Detroit's Woodbridge neighborhood. Photo: Samuel Robinson/Axios

Growing the middle class is a huge challenge for Mayor Duggan's administration.

What they're saying: Accessible middle-wage jobs — those that don't require a four-year degree and pay more than the median wage — provide families with an important springboard, per a recent Detroit Future City study.

Yes, but: These jobs are lagging while low-wage jobs have "ballooned," Detroit Future City writes.

  • Economists predict the city's job growth in the next five years will rely heavily on low-wage jobs in manufacturing, construction and warehousing, according to a recent University of Michigan forecast.
  • The problem isn't "impossible to solve," per DFC. It requires collaboration and accountability among government, community groups and philanthropy.

By the numbers: Five stats showing the nature of the middle-wage gap:

  1. Detroit's economy is "increasingly polarized," with low-wage jobs growing 19% from 2010-2019, while bachelor's degree-or-higher jobs grew 15% and middle-wage jobs grew just 3%.
  2. Middle-wage jobs are growing faster in the metro area (23%).
  3. Middle-wage job holders in the city are 7% more likely to be white than the total workforce.
  4. They're also 6% more likely to identify as male.
  5. Most middle-wage jobs here, 21%, are in medical and surgical hospitals.
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