The narrative may be that Detroit is a boom town full of economic activity, but the city's high poverty rate may inhibit that growth, according to writer Rick Haglund, who opined Sunday about a new report from the Michigan Department of Technology, Management, and Budget.
Written by two employees of the Michigan Bureau of Labor Market Information and Strategic Initiatives, the report takes a detailed look at Detroit's changing population trends and demographics. Poverty, as you can expect given the city's estimated 40 percent rate, remains prevalent, the report says. A snip:
Poverty was also higher in Detroit than statewide for every racial or ethnic group. The largest poverty rate gaps between the two areas were for Asians and Whites. A little over 60 percent of Asians living in Detroit were considered to be poor; the ratio was only 13 percent statewide. Forty percent of White Detroit residents were poor; only 13.5 percent of Michigan’s White population was considered to be living under the poverty line in 2013.
The city's unemployment rate has improved, however "labor force and employment levels in the region remain below the 2007 pre-recessionary levels," the report says.
Haglund raises the specter that, even with a reduced debt-load thanks to municipal bankruptcy, Detroit's revival is "far from assured."
Check out the report here, and Haglund's column here.