Pockets of prosperity survive in Metro Detroit despite economy

While Michigan cities are seeing trying economic times, other cities, especially those in Oakland County, are prospering.


Indeed, Rochester Hills, Canton Township, Livonia, Northville, Royal
Oak, Novi and others have jobless rates below 5 percent, a figure
Detroit hasn’t seen in decades. Several of these communities are
approaching full employment, in which everyone who wants a job has one,
save for those who are between jobs. Elsewhere in Michigan, overall
jobless rates range from 6 percent in Washtenaw County to 19 percent in
Mackinac County.

Experts say there are two common denominators
to economic success: a highly educated population and a reduced
reliance on manufacturing jobs like those tethered to the reeling
automotive industry. High-tech, health care and service based jobs have
weathered the prolonged downturn better.

“You’ll see a direct
correlation on unemployment rates and individual levels of educational
attainment,” said state economic analyst Bruce Weaver. Translation: If
you’ve got a college degree, you’re far more likely to also have a job.

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