Detroit unemployment rate drops below 6% for the first time since 2000

  • National Bureau of Labor Statistics data for November released last week show lowest unemployment rate in 23 years, well ahead of most recent economic projections.
  • City offers dozens of free training programs available today through com to assist any unemployed Detroiter wanting to work.
  • Companies hiring through Detroit at Work say the system is a success.


The city’s unemployment rate has dropped again, now to its lowest level since April 2000, according to the National Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), Mayor Mike Duggan announced today.  Numbers released today show Detroit’s unemployment rate for March was 5.8%, the lowest in 23 years. 

In January, BLS reported the city’s rate had fallen to 6.4% in November 2022.  The numbers show sustained progress on Detroit’s unemployment front from the height of the COVID pandemic in May of 2020, when the City’s unemployment rate spiked to more than 38%. 

Mayor Mike Duggan said the numbers are encouraging but noted that the city is not yet where he thinks it can be or where he wants it to be. 

“The sustained drop in our unemployment rate reflects the rise in opportunities in Detroit and that Detroiters are taking advantage of them,” the mayor said. “A 5.8% unemployment rate is great progress, but our goal is to have Detroit’s unemployment rate in line with the state and national averages.” 

The mayor also added that Detroit at Work has 7,768 jobs and dozens of training programs available today.

Detroit’s trend of a continued strengthening economy is based largely on its ongoing success attracting good paying jobs to Detroit.  In July, construction will begin on the first piece of the $1.5 billion 10-building District Detroit development, which will create nearly 12,000 new construction jobs and 6,000 permanent jobs.

Amazon has begun hiring the first of its 1,200 employees for its four million square foot distribution center at the state fairgrounds and a new 400-job employment center at the site of the former AMC headquarters will break ground this year.  Lear’s new seating facility on the site of the former Cadillac Stamping Plant is also expected to reach full employment of at least 400 in 2023.

City’s Workforce Programs provide spectrum of training.

Nicole Sherard-Freeman, the mayor’s Group Executive for Jobs, Economy and Detroit at Work, said the city’s unemployment numbers continue to improve in large part because of broad spectrum of training and other supportive services that are helping Detroiters be prepared for the 8,400 opportunities currently available.  The city’s workforce development program, Detroit at Work, helps create career opportunities for Detroiters at all levels of education, experience, and skills, and to give employers access to a highly qualified talent pipeline.  

Today, dozens of free training programs are available at in the following areas:

  • Construction/Skilled Trades
  • Manufacturing
  • Health Care
  • Information Technology
  • Transportation

Detroiters ages 18 and older also can call 313-962-WORK or visit any of the 9 Detroit At Work career centers across the city to learn more or to get enrolled.

Hundreds of local companies are hiring today, right here in the City of Detroit. These companies say the Detroiters they are bringing in through the Detroit at Work talent pipeline are exceeding their expectations.

Featured programs:

JPMorgan Chase

  • JPMorgan Chase launched its new virtual call center in Detroit's Corktown neighborhood – the very first in the U.S. – expanding their already proven commitment to Detroit and Detroiters. 
  • Using Detroit at Work as their sole talent sourcing provider, they have hired 50 new employees to work as full-time, work-from-home account specialists and account supervisors, with starting wages of $22.50 per hour and an annual benefits package worth about $16,000. 
  • More hires are expected as operations grow.  
  • The new call center also provides an opportunity for Detroiters with a criminal background. Recently, JPMorgan Chase has removed all questions about criminal backgrounds from job applications. Second Chance hires represent approximately 10 percent of Chase’s new hires in the U.S. over the last three years.

Learn to Earn 

  • Detroiters can earn their Diploma or GED while receiving a stipend and explore their options for training or new job opportunities immediately after graduating.
  • With 20 hours per week participants can earn a GED/diploma in as little as 4-6 months.
  • They can also build skills that help find a new or better job after earning a GED/diploma. A career coach helps participants explore training and career options.
  • The program includes a weekly stipend for up to 6 months.
  • Other support available includes a laptop, internet access and help with transportation, and referrals to childcare.

Skills for Life

  • Skills for Life is a program launched by the mayor at the end of 2021.
  • If you’re a jobseeker, Skills for Life has two ways to help your career path.
    • You will have the option, two days a week, to attend GED prep or Skills Refresh to complete your education or pursue a training certification.
    • You will also work with the City of Detroit’s General Services Department the other three days a week, learning valuable skills to add to your resume.
  • These positions start at $15/hr. and after graduation, you’ll be able to earn up to $20-25/hr. 
2023 Detroit Unemployment graph


About Detroit at Work

Detroit at Work is the City of Detroit’s workforce development ecosystem that works to strengthen Detroit’s talent pool, create career opportunities for Detroiters at all levels of education, experience, and skills, and give employers access to a demand-driven talent pipeline.

Detroit at Work offers residents and employers a centralized resource for all workforce development resources, including a career center network, recruitment services, workforce insights, training programs and strategic partnerships with community-based organizations. 

The Detroit at Work website at is a centralized online portal sharing information with Detroiters to help them find employment, advance their career through training, or access a range of supportive services. Employers can partner with Detroit at Work to recruit, train, and retain qualified residents for open positions.  Detroit at Work is powered by Detroit Employment Solutions Corporation and implements the vision of the Mayor’s Workforce Development Board.