It‘s important to understand that the population (and economic benefits) of Detroit have risen and fallen with the auto industry. And it’s also important to understand that Detroit had its peak both in population (2.1 million) and city-based industrial employment in 1947. It’s important to understand that the population (and economic benefits) of Detroit have risen and fallen with the auto industry. And it’s also important to understand that Detroit had its peak both in population (2.1 million) and city-based industrial employment in 1947. Since that time, Detroit has slowly lost both jobs and populations to suburban environments – due largely to the cheaper land costs, need for acres of land for development, etc. So understand that the move outside Detroit followed the construction of more auto plants to the suburbs as early as the 1950s. Also understand that while auto jobs moved to the suburbs, they’re also declining in numbers. In short, the auto industry will never be the massive industry, employer and benefactor to the city that it was in the past. Unfortunately, to secure bailout funds in the 1970s and 1980s (during the first and most severe of the auto industry shakeouts), a lot of discussion ensued about how the cash infusions would bring new and more jobs to Detroit.  I think that corporations, city government and residents wanted desperately – for their own reasons

Jessica Boullion
The state of Michigan ranks near the bottom in job production and economic growth. (PETER SCHOTTENFELS/Daily)
Jessica Boullion

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