Regional Talent

Print Friendly and PDF


In 2012, 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 two-year colleges, regional Detroit employers have access to graduates from excellent colleges and universities including Lawrence Tech, the University of Michigan, Wayne State University, Oakland University and the University of Detroit Mercy.

Fastest Growing

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. Leading the job growth by percent change are educational services, mining, quarrying and oil and gas extraction, and health care and social assistance.

Top 25 by Percent Change

NAICSDescription2014 Jobs2024 Jobs2014 - 2024 % Change
337125Household Furniture (except Wood and Metal) Manufacturing127294131%
713290Other Gambling Industries349794128%
335912Primary Battery Manufacturing408826102%
454111Electronic Shopping8041623102%
522291Consumer Lending40979895%
481219Other Nonscheduled Air Transportation1,227227185%
237120Oil and Gas Pipeline and Related Structures Construction924169483%
711190Other Performing Arts Companies11320481%
337211Wood Office Furniture Manufacturing17731779%
212393Other Chemical and Fertilizer Mineral Mining10017777%
523920Portfolio Management591104677%
622310Specialty (except Psychiatric and Substance Abuse) Hospitals1,945344277%
624210Community Food Services56799275%
541420Industrial Design Services2,406416273%
813211Grantmaking Foundations52388469%
337127Institutional Furniture Manufacturing747126169%
721120Casino Hotels7,3761243869%
562920Materials Recovery Facilities19933568%
541990All Other Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services2,535423367%
327993Mineral Wool Manufacturing21335466%
541350Building Inspection Services28046566%
561210Facilities Support Services1,616267866%
339112Surgical and Medical Instrument Manufacturing1,061174564%
336999All Other Transportation Equipment Manufacturing21134664%
326220Rubber and Plastics Hoses and Belting Manufacturing623102164%
Source: Economic Modeling Specialists Inc. Note: Industries projected to employ less than 100 people were excluded.

Top 25 by Number Change

Description2014 Jobs2024 Jobs2014 - 2024 Change
Registered Nurses53081601777096
Home Health Aides23356299256569
Personal Care Aides14261198585597
Janitors and Cleaners, Except Maids and Housekeeping Cleaners40342457085366
Combined Food Preparation and Serving Workers, Including Fast Food52706574534747
Nursing Assistants26677307754098
Customer Service Representatives45978489202942
Secretaries and Administrative Assistants, Except Legal, Medical, and Executive27165296182453
Postsecondary Teachers27058294082350
Maids and Housekeeping Cleaners10788129652177
Medical Assistants14103161672064
Cooks, Restaurant17128191271999
General and Operations Managers32852347791927
Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses787297351863
Childcare Workers12168138601692
Medical Secretaries617678041628
Bookkeeping, Accounting, and Auditing Clerks23308249241616
Accountants and Auditors16000175361536
Market Research Analysts and Marketing Specialists653980471508
Sales Representatives, Services, All Other13071145641493
Heavy and Tractor-Trailer Truck Drivers24967264351468
First-Line Supervisors of Office and Administrative Support Workers17916193771461
Software Developers, Applications10548119291381
Computer User Support Specialists13602149581356
Waiters and Waitresses38415397341319
Source: Economic Modeling Specialists Inc. Note: Industries projected to employ less than 100 people were excluded.


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, 36 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 nearly five percent higher than the national rate due to the shakeup of the automotive industry. The unemployment rate is now within two percent of the national average. Conditions have been improving since June 2009.


2002 2004 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011  2012  2013 August 2014
Detroit Region 6.2% 7.0% 6.9% 7.7% 8.5% 14.9% 11.9% 9.7% 7.9%
Michigan 6.2% 7.1% 6.9% 7.1% 8.3% 13.3% 12.5% 10.4% 9.1% 8.8% 7.4%
U.S. 5.8% 5.5% 4.6% 4.6% 5.8% 9.3% 9.6% 8.9% 8.1% 7.4% 6.1%

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Jobs Forecast

Region 2012 Jobs 2022 Jobs % Growth
Southeast Michigan 2,829,569 3,062,989 8.2%
United States 179,628,964 202,902,160 13.0%


How Can We Help?
Your Name (required)

Your Email (required)


Your Message

Input the Letters

Related Topics
How Can We Help?
Your Name (required)

Your Email (required)


Your Message

Input the Letters

Gold Members