Archive for April, 2013

Detroit’s unemployment decreases, number of auto-manufacturing jobs remains steady

April 29, 2013

For the month of February, Detroit’s unemployment rate decreased while the number of employed began to increase. When looking at the auto-manufacturing field specifically, there was only a slight increase in the number of people employed from January to February.

•Unemployment and underemployment rates decrease, while the number of employed increases. The number of auto manufacturing and auto parts manufacturing employees remained steady from January 2013 to February (monthly);
•Purchasing manager’s index decreased from January 2013 to February 2013 (monthly);
•Commodity price index increased from January 2013 to February 2013s (monthly);
•The most recent consumer price index changes for all and all items less food and energy increased (bi-monthly);
•Building permits pulled decreased for Wayne, Oakland and Macomb counties from February to March. When comparing March of this year to March of 2012, the number of building permits pulled for each county is below what was pulled at this time last year (monthly).
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According to the most recent data provided by the Michigan Department of Technology, Management and Budget, the February 2013 unemployment rate for the State of Michigan was 8.8 per 100 people, which is 0.1 below where it was from November of 2012 to January of 2013. For the City of Detroit, 18 percent of the population were unemployed in January 2013; the February rate is a decrease of 1.8 percent from the city’s percentage of unemployed in January.

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The number of employed in the City of Detroit increased by 3,810 people from January to February of 2013.

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The above chart shows the number of people employed in auto manufacturing industry in the Detroit Metropolitan Statistical Area throughout 2012 and into 2013. Employment peaked in February 2013 continued to increase from its January peak. With 90,700 people being employed in both the auto manufacturing and auto parts manufacturing industries this is 200 more people than January. This is also 12,400 more people employed in this sector of the job market than in February of 2012.

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Although the underemployment rate in Michigan and the U.S declined for 2012, it is still about 5 percentage points above where it was in 2006, for both. Also, it should be noted that Michigan’s underemployment rate has consistently remained above that of the U.S.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, this measure of worker underutilization includes the total unemployed, total of part-time employed for economic reasons, discouraged workers, and other marginally attached workers. This measure of the underemployment  does not consider this group of people as unemployed because they had not looked for work in the four weeks prior to the rate being calculated.

To learn more on underemployment read the following articles:

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/20/business/part-time-work-becomes-full-time-wait-for-better-job.html

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/22/opinion/krugman-the-jobless-trap.html?_r=0

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According to the most recent data released on Southeastern Michigan’s Purchasing Manager’s Index, the number increased by 4 points from February 2013 to March 2013; in March it was recorded at 55.7. The recorded number for February of this year is 10.4 points below where it was in 2012. The Purchasing Manger’s Index (PMI) is a composite index derived from five indicators of economic activity: new orders, production, employment, supplier deliveries, and inventories; a PMI above 50 means the economy is expanding. The PMI of 55.7 means expansion continues and with the rise of 4 points in month it means that expansion was accelerated.

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The Commodity Price Index, which is a weighted average of selected commodity prices for Southeast Michigan, fluctuated throughout 2012. For January and February of 2013 it appeared to be following the same trend as 2012. However, for the month of March there was a decrease from February; the decrease was by 10.4 points. Also, when comparing the Commodity Price Index from March 2012 to March 2013 there was a 6.7 point decrease.

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The above charts show the number of residential building permits obtained each month in Oakland, Macomb, and Wayne counties from February 2012 until the present. These numbers are reported by local municipalities to the Southeastern Michigan Council of Governments and include single family, two family, attached condo, and multi-family units. The information presented shows that the number of building permits obtained in Wayne, Oakland and Macomb counties this month decreased from February and is also below where they were in March of 2012. Macomb County had the largest difference in numbers reported in March of 2012 and March of 2013. For 2012, Macomb County reported that 172 building permits were pulled and in 2013 it has been reported that 72 permits were pulled.

According to the Southeastern Michigan Council of Governments data used for these charts, there have been zero building permits pulled in the City of Detroit in 2013 thus far.

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911 data show show breathing and wheezing calls dot Detroit

April 21, 2013

There were few places in the City of Detroit where Detroit EMS did not respond to a call related to breathing and wheezing problems between January 1, 2010 and August 26, 2012.  there were about six neighborhoods in the western portion of the city and six other neighborhoods throughout the city that exhibited a high frequency of breathing and wheezing-related EMS calls. Aside from these 12 areas, the majority of the city exhibited a fairly low frequency of breathing and wheezing related calls.

Breathing and wheezing problems can be brought on from asbestos, mold and moisture, Volatile Organic Compounds, carbon monoxide, and tobacco smoke, amongst other health issues. Asthma can also bring on breathing and wheezing problems; this was examined in an earlier Drawing Detroit post.

The information used in this post was collected and provided by the City of Detroit. It was analyzed as part of the ongoing efforts of the Green and Healthy Homes Initiative-Detroit to identify hazards and health challenges emerging from housing problems.  The Green and Healthy Homes Initiative-Detroit (GHHI) aims to reduce housing related health-risks through “comprehensive home-based assessments and interventions, public outreach and education, and local partnerships.” Three GHHI target areas—CLEARCorps’ North End and Crossman area, Osborn and Southwest–are examined in this post. Of these three, the Osborn neighborhood had the highest frequency of breathing/wheezing related calls, while the Southwest target area had lower frequencies. locations.

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Please click all maps to enlarge them

The map above shows the frequency of all Detroit EMS calls about wheezing and difficulty breathing made between January 1, 2010 and August 26, 2012. Areas north of Michigan Avenue and east of Gratiot appear to have more challenges. One area with the highest frequency is just across the river from Belle Isle (306, 152, 202). There is also a string of Census tracts near downtown that have particularly high numbers of calls (Counts of 911 calls:202, 306, 330) .

The next six maps below show in more detail the distribution and frequency of calls made to the Detroit EMS regarding breathing and wheezing in the target areas for the Detroit Green and Healthy Homes Initiative (GHHI). For each area a dot map of locations (To preserve privacy, the precise addresses are not shown.) followed by a map shaded to reflect frequencies for Census tracts.

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The CLEARCorps target area above is located in Detroit’s north end/central Woodward neighborhood; it is  bordered by Linwood (west), Webb/Woodland (north), I-75 (east), and  Grand Boulevard (south). In this target area, there was one Census tract neighborhood with the highest frequency of calls (167) and two with the second highest frequency rating (150 and 130). The remainder of the target area is comprised of locations with a lower frequency of calls.

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The Osborn area has a high frequency of calls. This area, which is in the upper east side of the city, contains two Census tracts (with frequencies of 164 and 163) with a very high frequency of breathing/wheezing related calls. Almost every other tract in the Osborn neighborhood was in either either the second or third highest category for frequency of calls. The only exception was a Census tract in the middle of the area, which had a low frequency (38).

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The Southwest target area has no tracts with the highest frequency of breathing/wheezing related calls, though some areas have over 100 calls. The entire area is shaded in the low and middle portion of the frequency spectrum.

Dealing with the challenges

The challenges identified in these maps are partly the result of exterior and interior hazards though age of residents or disease processes are also likely to explain part of these numbers. Outside the home, dust, pollution and pollen can create breathing problems. Inside the home, mold, insects, pets and smoke are among the most important risk factors. GHHI concentrates on removing these hazards from home to make them safe for vulnerable populations, typically children and the elderly.

 

Detroit EMS receives high number of burn calls associated with structure fires

April 14, 2013

From January 1, 2010 to August 26, 2012 there were about 400 calls received by the Detroit EMS related burns associated with structure fires. In that same time there were only 15 calls related to electrical fire burns.

This post exams the distribution and frequency to which Detroit EMS responded to burn related calls. In addition to showing the overall frequency and distribution of burn related EMS calls, this post also breaks down the calls by the following types:

•Burns related to structure fires: 394 calls
•Small Burns: 262 calls
•An adult with over 18 percent of his or her body covered in burns: 219 calls
•A child with over 10 percent of his or her body covered in burns: 94 calls
•Burns where a person was not alert: 56 calls
•A person with burns and difficulty breathing: 35 calls
•Burns related to electrical fires: 15 calls

This information was obtained and analyzed as part of the ongoing efforts of the Green and Healthy Homes Initiative-Detroit . While these calls presented in this post are not mutually exclusive, each call in the time frame presented was assigned to one of the above categories.

While this information was made available for GHHI purposes, the City of Detroit only publically presents information related to the number of fire calls responded to by the City of Detroit Fire Department for 2006 on their website. According to that data, in 2006 the fire department responded to 33,441 fires and 131,481 medical emergencies. According to the same website, there was an average of 47 people in the city who die each year from residential fire deaths.

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The above map shows, by Census tract data, where Detroit EMS assisted burn victims, and the frequency at which they assisted, from January 10, 2010 to August 26, 2012. During this period, there were 1,075 burn calls throughout the city. While much of the City of Detroit was in the mid to low range (2-5 calls per Census tract) for the frequency of burn calls, there were several pockets that had high numbers of EMS calls, according to the legend. The dark green areas have the highest frequency of calls; these areas range from 9 to 12 calls. For the highest frequency areas there is no trend associated with where they are located in the city; there were 11 Census tract locations in the high frequency range. There was however a diagonal string of Census tract areas in the central/ south-central area of the city that had between 6 and 9 EMS burn calls from January 2010 to August 2012.

There were 21 Census tract locations where zero burn related calls were made to the Detroit EMS in this time frame; some of these locations include Palmer Park, Rouge Golf Course, Eliza Howell Park, and Belle Isle; all of which are parks/recreation areas in the city.

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This map provides a different picture on where Detroit EMS responded to burn related situations. As mentioned above there is no trend to where the high frequency areas are located in the city, and areas with between 2 to 5 calls seemed to dominate the city.

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The above seven maps are a breakdown of the EMS burn calls,  by dispatcher-assigned category, within the City of Detroit. Of the 1,075 total burn calls during this time, 394 were categorized as related to structure fires. The second highest frequency category was small burn related calls.

There were 15 calls to Detroit EMS between January 1, 2010 to August 26, 2012 for burns related to electrical fires, 35 calls related to a person having burns and difficulty breathing, and 56 where a person was burned and not alert. There were far fewer EMS calls in those three categories than EMS calls related to burns and structure fires (394), small burns (262) and children (94) and adults (219) with burns that covered a certain portion of their body.

When the total number of burn related calls were broken down in the seven categories the maps showed there were no clear geographic trends of concentration in certain areas of the city, per category.

Detroit’s unemployment rises as population shows sign of leveling off

April 8, 2013

Although it appears Detroit’s population is beginning to steady, the start of 2013 showed increased unemployment rates and zero growth for the number of building permits pulled.

•Since 2010 Detroit’s population has appeared to be steadying, only experiencing slight decline;
•For the tri-county area, the population’s in Macomb and Oakland counties have been increasing while Wayne County’s population has been historically declining.
•Unemployment rate increases, while the number of employed decreases. The number of auto manufacturing and auto parts manufacturing employees also increased from December 2012 to January 2013 though (monthly);
•Purchasing manager’s index decreased from January 2013 to February 2013 (monthly);
•Commodity price index increased from January 2013 to February 2013s (monthly);
•The most recent consumer price index changes for all and all items less food and energy increased (bi-monthly);
•Building permits increase for Oakland and Macomb counties in January and February 2013, compared to the same months in 2012. In Wayne County, the number of permits in the first two months of year declined, compared to last year from last year to this year (monthly) . No building permits were pulled for Detroit.
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Overall, the City of Detroit’s population has experienced a decline, going from about 1.5 million residents in 1970 to 677,891 in 2012. However, from 2010, when the U.S. Census Bureau released its most recent Census data, to 2012, the population has seemed to somewhat stabilize. From 2010 to 2012 there was a decline of 35,109 residents. This decline is based on 2010 Census data and compared with Southeastern Michigan Council of Governments data (2012). The biannual population estimates from SEMCOG are based on trends from area demographics.

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Since 1970, Oakland and Macomb counties have experienced population increases while Wayne County has experienced a population decline. From 2010 to 2012 Oakland County’s population increased from 1,203,012 to 1,216,207. In that same time frame Macomb County’s population increased from 841,126 in 2010 to 843,435. Wayne County had a population decline of  1,815,734 in 2010 to 1,787,920.

All information is based on Census data, except for the 2012 data. These numbers are Southeastern Michigan Council of Governments data; the biannual population estimates from SEMCOG are based on trends from area demographics.

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According to the most recent data provided by the Michigan Department of Technology, Management and Budget, the January 2013 unemployment rate for the State of Michigan was 8.9 per 100 people, which is the same as it was in November and December of last year. For the City of Detroit, 19.8 percent of the population were unemployed in January 2013; this is an increase 1.7 percent from the city’s percentage of unemployed in December 2012 .

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The number of employed in the City of Detroit decreased by 2,043 people from January to February of 2013. From October 2012 to January 2013 there was a loss of 5,407 employed people.

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The above chart shows the number of people employed in auto manufacturing industry in the Detroit Metropolitan Statistical Area throughout 2012 and into 2013. Employment peaked in January 2013, with 90,700 people being employed in both the auto manufacturing and auto parts manufacturing industries. This is 10,400 more people employed from the previous peak of 80,300 employees in March of 2012.

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According to the most recent data released on Southeastern Michigan’s Purchasing Manager’s Index, the number decreased by 3.6 points from January 2013 to February 2013; in February it was recorded at 51.7. The recorded number for February of this year is13.4 points below where it was in 2012.The Purchasing Manager’s Index (PMI) is a composite index derived from five indicators of economic activity: new orders, production, employment, supplier deliveries, and inventories; a PMI above 50 means the economy is expanding. The PMI of 51.7 means the economy continues to expand.

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The Commodity Price Index, which is a weighted average of selected commodity prices for Southeast Michigan, fluctuated throughout 2012 and, so far, is appearing to follow a similar trend in 2013. However, the Commodity Price Index has been reported at slightly higher levels for January and February of 2013 than it was in the same months for 2012.  From January 2013 to February 2013 the Commodity Price Index increased from 58.9 to 66.7. The score in February 2013 is .2 points above where the Commodity Price Index was in February of 2012.

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The Consumer Price Index, which is reported every two months, increased 1.1 percent from December of 2012 to February of this year. From February of 2012 until last month the CPI increased .7 percent in the Detroit-Ann Arbor-Flint area. The Consumer Price Index measures the change in prices in a fixed market. The prices which are measured are based on prices of “food, clothing, shelter, fuels, transportation fares, charges for doctors’ and dentists’ services, drugs, and the other goods and services that people buy for day-to-day living,” according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Increased prices for energy (a 3.9 percent increase) and a .3 percent increase in the food index were noted for the change.

The Consumer Price Index, minus the prices of energy and food, shown in the second Consumer Price Index graph, increased .8 percent from December to February. This was because of pricing related to shelter recreation, and motor vehicles, according to the BLS.

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The above charts show the number of residential building permits obtained each month in Oakland, Macomb, and Wayne counties from January 2012 until the present. These numbers are reported by local municipalities to the Southeastern Michigan Council of Governments and include single family, two family, attached condo, and multi-family units. The information presented shows that the number of building permits obtained in Oakland and Macomb counties this year, so far, are higher than those pulled in January and February of last year. While the Oakland County numbers are higher for 2013 than 2012 thus far, from January to February of 2013 there was  decline of permits pulled. In Oakland County, 222 have permits have been pulled in 2013, so far, and in Macomb County 284 have been pulled. In Wayne County, on the other hand, there has been a decrease in the number of building permits pulled for January and February of 2013 compared to them same months in 2012. In 2012 a total of 102 permits were pulled for both months and in 2013 there have been 107 pulled.

In 2013 thus far, Macomb County leads with the most number of building permits pulled.

According to the Southeastern Michigan Council of Governments data used for these charts, in January and February of 2013 zero building permits have been pulled in the City of Detroit.

 

Michigan municipalities with Emergency Managers comprised of mostly African Americans

April 1, 2013

For five of the six Michigan municipalities with emergency managers African Americans make up majority of the communities’ populations.

Other demographic trends followed in these municipalities-Detroit, Ecorse, Benton Harbor, Flint and Pontiac-include:

•A smaller percentage of the population owned their home than compared to the state average;
•Fewer of the residents have attained higher levels of education;
•The median income in these communities is lower than that of the state;
•A greater percentage of each of the five municipalities’ populations live below the federal poverty level than the the state average.

Although Allen Park currently has an emergency manager, it does not follow the demographic trends as the communities discussed above. Also, Allen Park was not under financial watch by the state before an emergency manager was appointed in 2012. An emergency manager was appointed in Allen Park so swiftly was because the city’s year-end general fund balance decreased by 91 percent from June 2009 to June 2011. One reason cited for this decrease was the city’s movie studio that went defunct.

On March 25 Kevyn Orr, a bankruptcy attorney and turnaround expert, began his position as Detroit’s emergency manager. This came after Gov. Rick Snyder officially declared a financial emergency in the City of Detroit on March 1.

This post examines the municipalities in Michigan that have emergency managers. The table below lists the municipalities and school districts currently with emergency managers, and appointment dates as of March 4, 2013 (information gathered from the Michigan Department of Treasury). In addition to those currently with emergency managers Inkster and River Rouge are currently operating under consent agreements.

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In previous posts (Part I and Part II), we examined fiscal distress scores in Metro-Detroit.  The Michigan Department of Treasury is required by law (PA 72-1990; PA 34-2001) to assess fiscal health scores for all jurisdictions in the state.  To this end, the department collaborated with economists to develop 10 indicators of fiscal health.  These indicators include measurable trends, such as population loss, general fund expenditures, and declines in taxable valuation. Each year, a jurisdiction may earn one point for each of 10 indicators on which it exhibits fiscal distress, for a maximum of 10 points. Jurisdictions with scores of 5 or higher are considered under a financial watch. The Michigan Department of Treasury has scores for 2006 to 2009 posted on its website. Estimates for 2010 and 2011 scores are available from the private company Munetrix.

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The above chart displays the 2006 through 2011 fiscal distress scores for municipalities that currently are operating with an Emergency Financial Manager (EFM) or under a consent agreement. The markers on the various lines indicate when a municipality’s EFM was appointed or when it entered into a consent agreement. For example, Ecorse has had an EFM since 2009 when it had a fiscal distress score of 7; its estimated scores increased to 8 in 2010 and 9 in 2011. An EFM was appointed for both Pontiac and River Rouge, operating under a financial agreement, in 2009, when both had a fiscal distress score of 6. A financial manager was appointed in Benton Harbor in 2010 and in 2011 in Flint. The other municipalities in this chart were given EFMs or consent agreements after 2011. Unlike the others here, Allen Park is the only municipality that was not under financial watch for at least one year before being assigned an EFM.

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Munetrix provides fiscal distress scores for 1,860 municipalities in the state of Michigan. The table above provides a snapshot of these. Of the 278 cities listed, 94 of them were considered under financial watch by the Department of Treasury (they had a score of 5 or greater) at least once during the period from 2006 to 2011. Eleven municipalities had a score of at least 5 for all six years. The fiscal distress scores for these are plotted in the following chart. Of these 11, the state of Michigan considered only Detroit and Ecorse in need of intervention.

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With the appoint of an EFM to Detroit, 9.3 percent of Michigan’s 9,876,801 residents are now living under an EFM (based on 2011 population estimates from the US Census). This is depicted in the chart above, where the gray area represents self-governing municipalities and Detroit and the five municipalities currently with EFMs are indicated by an individual color.

The next five charts present a demographic picture of Michigan residents, compared to those who live in municipalities that have been declared to be in a financial emergency. Overall, of those living in these municipalities, a smaller percentage own their homes, fewer have attained higher levels of education, the median income is lower, a greater percentage are living below the federal poverty level, and a greater percentage are people of color. Allen Park is the exception—it is more like the state, than the other municipalities considered to be in a financial emergency.

Also, the demographic charts below focus on the years 2007-2011 because they are based on the most recent American Community Survey five-year estimates.

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As shown in the chart above, most of the cities targeted to have an EFM, have lower rates of home ownership than the state, as a whole. The only exception is Allen Park, which had a homeownership rate of 89.4 percent from 2007-2011, compared to 73.5 percent for the state overall. Benton Harbor had the lowest ownership rate, 37.percent, which was slightly less than half the rate for the state.

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The two previous charts depict that, as a whole, the cities had lower educational attainment than the state. Allen Park did have a slightly higher percentage of residents, aged 25 and older, who had at least graduated high school (89.3 percent from 2007-2011, compared to 88.4 percent for the state overall). All of the municipalities had lower percentages of residents who had at least completed a Bachelor’s degree, when compared with the state. Detroit had approximately half the state percentage (12.2 percent  compared to 25.3 percent); Benton Harbor had the lowest rate at 5.8 percent.

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In the above chart, we see that the median household income from 2007 to 2011 in Allen Park ($55,553) exceeded that of the state ($48,669). The other cities under consideration had median incomes approximately $20,000 less than that of the state, except for the Benton Harbor which had a median income more than $30,000 less than the state value.

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The preceding chart shows that, other than Allen Park, the cities all had higher percentages of residents living below the poverty level from 2007 to 2011 than the state did. Over one-third of Detroit residents (36.2 percent) and nearly half of Benton Harbor residents (47.6 percent) were below the poverty level.

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White persons comprised 78.9 percent of the state’s population in 2010. Allen Park was 92.9 percent White. In all of the other municipalities under consideration, White persons were in the minority.