Regional Talent

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For a visual look at the region, check out our Regional Snapshot, an infographic with some of the region’s most important statistics.

A Center for Talent

In 2014, the Detroit region’s civilian labor force was nearly 2.5 million. Southeast Michigan is not short of skilled labor and is one of the area’s primary assets as a manufacturing location. This stable and well-educated workforce is ready and able to adapt to the changing needs of today’s technological innovations. In fact, Michigan is among the nation’s leaders for skilled manufacturing workers. The regional broad base of manufacturing expertise assists in the recruiting and training of staff.

In addition to a large pool of graduates from the area’s top-rated private universities and two-year colleges, regional Detroit employers have access to graduates from excellent schools including the University of Michigan, Wayne State University, Oakland University, and Eastern Michigan University.

Regional Detroit Largest Occupations

The Detroit region is a large employer of service and retail occupations, indicating its presence as a hub for all types of retailers as well as a growing center for the restaurant business. The Detroit region is also a renowned center for health care providers, demonstrated through its employment of over 55,000 registered nurses, a number that continues to grow each year.

SOCDescription2015 Jobs
41-2031Retail Salespersons84,062
43-9061Office Clerks, General67,947
29-1141Registered Nurses55,020
35-3021Combined Food Preparation and Serving Workers, Including Fast Food53,487
37-2011Janitors and Cleaners, Except Maids and Housekeeping Cleaners53,150
41-9022Real Estate Sales Agents51,794
51-2092Team Assemblers48,962
43-4051Customer Service Representatives47,269
35-3031Waiters and Waitresses39,521
53-3032Heavy and Tractor-Trailer Truck Drivers35,725
31-1011Home Health Aides35,410
39-5012Hairdressers, Hairstylists, and Cosmetologists34,913
41-4012Sales Representatives, Wholesale and Manufacturing, Except Technical and Scientific Products34,380
11-1021General and Operations Managers33,951
53-7062Laborers and Freight, Stock, and Material Movers, Hand32,536
39-9011Childcare Workers31,962
43-5081Stock Clerks and Order Fillers31,547
41-1011First-Line Supervisors of Retail Sales Workers31,140
Source: Economic Modeling Specialists Int'l

Fastest Growing Occupations in the Detroit Region, Net Change 

It is estimated that over the next five years the Detroit region will add more than 90,000 jobs to its workforce. The health care and social services industry will add nearly 40,000 jobs, followed by professional, scientific and technical services, which will add nearly another 20,000 jobs to the region.

SOCDescription2015 Jobs2024 JobsNet Change
31-1011Home Health Aides35,41044,6759,265
13-2052Personal Financial Advisors23,42831,8118,383
39-5012Hairdressers, Hairstylists, and Cosmetologists34,91342,9468,033
39-9021Personal Care Aides24,34831,7457,397
37-2011Janitors and Cleaners, Except Maids and Housekeeping Cleaners53,15059,8526,702
29-1141Registered Nurses55,02061,1486,128
41-9022Real Estate Sales Agents51,79457,8306,036
37-2012Maids and Housekeeping Cleaners25,55830,3704,812
31-1014Nursing Assistants29,86534,1604,295
35-3021Combined Food Preparation and Serving Workers, Including Fast Food53,48757,6424,155
43-4051Customer Service Representatives47,26950,6673,398
53-3032Heavy and Tractor-Trailer Truck Drivers35,72538,9583,233
11-9141Property, Real Estate, and Community Association Managers19,19422,2343,040
41-2031Retail Salespersons84,06286,9972,935
Total Forecasted Job Growth2,943,2553,152,088208,833
Source: Economic Modeling Specialists Int'l

Fastest Growing Occupations in the Detroit Region, Percent Change

Leading the job growth by percent change are rock splitters, elevator technicians, and insulation workers. Other occupations that experienced significant growth percentage include those in the casino industry, personal financial advisors, private investigators, and commercial pilots.

SOCDescription2015 Jobs2024 Jobs% Change
47-5051Rock Splitters, Quarry7312064%
47-4021Elevator Installers and Repairers21933754%
47-2132Insulation Workers, Mechanical22634653%
33-9031Gaming Surveillance Officers and Gaming Investigators608948%
47-3015Helpers--Pipelayers, Plumbers, Pipefitters, and Steamfitters17725846%
17-2121Marine Engineers and Naval Architects497145%
49-9094Locksmiths and Safe Repairers7321,04242%
17-1021Cartographers and Photogrammetrists10114342%
39-3019Gaming Service Workers, All Other20028140%
49-9011Mechanical Door Repairers9413139%
17-2011Aerospace Engineers33947239%
47-5081Helpers--Extraction Workers12817638%
29-9092Genetic Counselors547437%
39-3011Gaming Dealers2,5923,52936%
13-2052Personal Financial Advisors23,42831,81136%
43-3041Gaming Cage Workers22530536%
33-9021Private Detectives and Investigators9001,21835%
11-9071Gaming Managers679034%
53-2012Commercial Pilots1,2321,64534%
Source: Economic Modeling Specialists Int'l

Highest Paid Occupations in the Detroit Region

The Detroit region is filled with expert health care practitioners and medical specialists. In 2015, highly specialized medical workers (anesthesiologists, surgeons, nurse anesthetists, orthodontists, and OBGYNs) all displayed median hourly earnings over $80. Other high paying Detroit occupations in 2015 included work in executive management, transportation/material moving, and life/physical/social sciences.

SOCDescription2015 JobsMedian Hourly Earnings
29-1151Nurse Anesthetists1,003$81.23
29-1064Obstetricians and Gynecologists452$81.11
29-1062Family and General Practitioners4,144$76.20
29-1065Pediatricians, General1,093$70.38
29-1021Dentists, General3,332$65.08
29-1069Physicians and Surgeons, All Other10,445$64.81
29-1022Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons321$63.09
53-2011Airline Pilots, Copilots, and Flight Engineers2,466$62.33
29-1063Internists, General3,711$62.17
53-2021Air Traffic Controllers264$59.09
11-1011Chief Executives9,629$57.61
17-2171Petroleum Engineers91$57.44
11-9041Architectural and Engineering Managers7,089$57.35
29-1029Dentists, All Other Specialists146$56.95
Source: Economic Modeling Specialists Int'l


STEM Occupations in the Detroit Region

With more than 200 occupational and educational programs granting nearly 18,000 degrees in 2013, the Detroit region develops professionals in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics while making sure it retains them. The current STEM workforce in Metro Detroit totals over 165,000 workers, which is greater than 34 states’ total STEM workforce.

The Detroit region granted more than 1,500 degrees to students interested in computer and mathematical occupations in 2013, with the largest number of graduates in statistics at 615, followed by 482 graduates in mathematics. By 2020 the Detroit region will have 65% of the state’s operations research analysts due to an expected growth rate of 8.7% over the next five years.

Due to the automotive and manufacturing concentration in the Detroit region it is no surprise that Michigan leads the nation in jobs for mechanical engineers at 30,673. The Detroit region alone has 24,892 mechanical engineers, nearly equal to the entire state of California and over 3,800 more than the state of Texas. Other engineering occupations that are expected to see notable growth over the next five years in the Detroit region are civil (13%), aerospace (19%), and biomedical (18%) engineering.

The Detroit region graduates and employs several thousand students of psychology each year. The 2,379 working psychologists in the region make up 80% of all psychologists in Michigan. Other life, physical, and social science occupations expected to grow over the next five years are chemical technicians and environmental scientists, both at a rate of 14% by 2020.

Computer and Mathematical Occupations

SOCDescription2015 Jobs2020 Jobs2013 Avg. Hourly EarningsRegional Completions (2013)2020 Location Quotient
15-2031Operations Research Analysts1,1631,265$41.0120.92
15-2099Mathematical Science Occupations, All Other1920$34.104820.72
15-2091Mathematical Technicians1618$30.62280.70
Source: Economic Modeling Specialists Int'l

Architecture and Engineering Occupations

SOCDescription2015 Jobs2020 Jobs2013 Avg. Hourly EarningsRegional Completions (2013)2020 Location Quotient
17-2141Mechanical Engineers24,89224,555$43.418895.70
17-2112Industrial Engineers13,39112,523$39.764263.42
17-2199Engineers, All Other6,5626,598$41.624582.38
17-2071Electrical Engineers5,6005,718$42.777312.02
17-2051Civil Engineers4,4145,004$32.372150.99
17-3027Mechanical Engineering Technicians3,6243,587$27.42894.68
17-3026Industrial Engineering Technicians3,3463,064$22.744882.89
17-3023Electrical and Electronics Engineering Technicians3,0223,076$23.834431.34
17-2072Electronics Engineers, Except Computer2,3102,418$39.067311.08
17-3013Mechanical Drafters2,2232,120$26.17462.04
17-3011Architectural and Civil Drafters1,8691,837$24.881961.14
17-3029Engineering Technicians, Except Drafters, All Other1,6321,666$26.921761.51
17-3022Civil Engineering Technicians1,4161,488$20.71961.34
17-3031Surveying and Mapping Technicians906951$20.13510.90
17-2081Environmental Engineers901982$39.57281.08
17-2061Computer Hardware Engineers715759$49.262730.55
17-2131Materials Engineers658662$41.30861.72
17-2041Chemical Engineers455494$39.832080.90
17-2111Health and Safety Engineers, Except Mining Safety Engineers and Inspectors370374$41.41280.95
17-2011Aerospace Engineers339403$53.842090.34
17-3025Environmental Engineering Technicians318355$22.97641.14
17-2161Nuclear Engineers306314$44.96790.86
17-3012Electrical and Electronics Drafters271308$29.3800.58
17-3019Drafters, All Other199208$20.01960.76
17-2031Biomedical Engineers168198$36.312420.52
17-3024Electro-Mechanical Technicians149160$27.92570.61
17-2171Petroleum Engineers9199$61.6300.14
17-3021Aerospace Engineering and Operations Technicians8698$29.30490.59
17-2151Mining and Geological Engineers, Including Mining Safety Engineers8395$33.3900.65
17-2121Marine Engineers and Naval Architects4960$45.52750.47
17-2021Agricultural Engineers2225$37.5400.50
Source: Economic Modeling Specialists Int'l

Life, Physical, and Social Science Occupations

SOCDescription2015 Jobs2020 Jobs2013 Avg. Hourly EarningsRegional Completions (2013)2020 Location Quotient
19-3031Clinical, Counseling, and School Psychologists1,3211,399$31.681,2930.99
19-4021Biological Technicians2,0272,148$18.1261.81
19-4031Chemical Technicians1,5931,821$19.8401.74
19-4099Life, Physical, and Social Science Technicians, All Other1,4051,471$17.53721.33
19-4061Social Science Research Assistants1,3971,469$15.98962.45
19-1042Medical Scientists, Except Epidemiologists1,2621,350$51.295840.76
19-3039Psychologists, All Other1,0581,168$37.652,0181.07
19-2041Environmental Scientists and Specialists, Including Health812927$32.932030.57
19-3022Survey Researchers779837$21.726781.94
19-4091Environmental Science and Protection Technicians, Including Health679768$21.132721.17
19-3051Urban and Regional Planners430442$29.771070.76
19-2042Geoscientists, Except Hydrologists and Geographers389406$36.42720.43
19-2099Physical Scientists, All Other289319$44.54200.58
19-1029Biological Scientists, All Other282295$26.331,7090.54
19-3099Social Scientists and Related Workers, All Other264279$35.821830.48
19-1021Biochemists and Biophysicists215246$34.032120.47
19-1012Food Scientists and Technologists176190$26.3900.62
19-4011Agricultural and Food Science Technicians171188$16.2300.54
19-1013Soil and Plant Scientists158179$23.3400.54
19-1031Conservation Scientists135139$25.851480.36
19-2021Atmospheric and Space Scientists130142$32.90260.74
19-4041Geological and Petroleum Technicians105116$22.3800.42
19-4092Forensic Science Technicians104108$28.09110.48
19-1023Zoologists and Wildlife Biologists8392$29.68170.28
19-2032Materials Scientists7782$36.3910.69
19-1099Life Scientists, All Other7683$36.001,1160.54
19-3032Industrial-Organizational Psychologists7484$42.161,0780.97
19-4093Forest and Conservation Technicians7277$18.881400.15
19-1011Animal Scientists5860$26.5901.18
19-3094Political Scientists5159$42.359260.45
19-3091Anthropologists and Archeologists4856$28.552540.39
19-4051Nuclear Technicians4753$35.9730.47
Source: Economic Modeling Specialists Int'l


The Detroit region workforce is more than manufacturing based. Michigan and the Detroit region have the highest concentration of engineers in the United States. For every 1,000 workers in the region, 39 are employed as engineers. In addition, Michigan is leading the way in information technology job creation and already more than 350,000 are employed in the industry.

To feed the talent pipeline, the Detroit region’s colleges and universities, such as the University of Michigan, Wayne State University, Lawrence Technological and others, rank in the Top 10 for graduating students in each type of degree conferred. Detroit regional community colleges engage nearly 140,000 students and work with local companies to develop customized workforce training.

Detroit provides access to a global talent pool, ranking only second to Chicago among Midwest metropolitan areas in percentage of foreign-born workers. Employers in the Detroit region also have access to Windsor, Canada, home to 330,000 people.

Labor Force Participation Rate

The economic downturn pushed the Detroit region’s unemployment rate over five percent higher than the national rate due to the shakeup of the automotive industry. The unemployment rate is now within 1% percent of the national average. Conditions have been improving since June 2009.

Unemployment Rate Chart








20022004200620072008200920102011 2012 20132014May-15
Detroit Region6.2%7.0%7.1%7.2%8.2%15.1%13.9%11.4%10.1%9.9%8.5%6.6%
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Jobs Forecast

Region2014 Jobs2024 Jobs% Growth
Southeast Michigan2,278,6202,395,3055.1%
United States143,649,801160,872,89812.0%
Source: Economic Modeling Specialists Int'l.

    • Angela
    • Ladetto
    • Director, Business Research
    • Christyn
    • Lucas
    • Business Research Analyst
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    • Angela
    • Ladetto
    • Director, Business Research
    • Christyn
    • Lucas
    • Business Research Analyst
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