Detroit's jobless rate was higher than U.S. average in February
Metro Detroit's unemployment rate fell since last year but remains slightly higher than the national average ahead of a possible recession.
State of play: The local unemployment rate fell to 3.8% in February, a 0.4-percentage point drop from the previous year, per new Labor Department data.
- It has been flat since January.
- Statewide, the jobless rate was 4.3% in February.
Why it matters: Unemployment is a key metric for gauging the economy's overall temperature.
- Looking at only the national unemployment rate can hide significant disparities between cities that are thriving and those that are struggling.
Context: Nationally, the unemployment rate was 3.5% as of March.
Zoom out: As of February — the latest month with available city-level data — unemployment was below 3% in a handful of major U.S. metros, including Miami (2.2%), Minneapolis (2.4%) and Tampa (2.5%).
- But it was above 4% in other major cities, including Las Vegas (5.7%), Chicago (4.4%), Los Angeles (4.3%) and Houston (4.3%).
🔭 Zoom in: The city of Detroit's unemployment rate dipped below 7% last November for the first time in 22 years.
- At the height of the pandemic in May 2020, it hit 38%.
What they're saying: Michigan is unlikely to avoid an expected mild national recession this summer due to rising interest rates and ongoing credit constraints, PNC Financial Services Group's Stuart Hoffman tells the Free Press.
- The state's unemployment rate could increase from about 4% to the 5.5-6% range in the months ahead, he said.
What we're watching: A new $100 million scholarship program is offering Detroiters training for thousands of available jobs in Metro Detroit.
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