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Highlights from the Annual Planning Information and Workforce Analysis Reports

The Michigan Center for Data and Analytics recently released the Annual Planning Information (API) and Workforce Analysis Reports which provide economic and demographic data and analysis for the state’s 16 Michigan Works! areas. This information is provided to assist with regional and local plans for the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA). The 27 Planning Information tables provide detailed data on topics such as population, labor force, employment, education, income, and more. The Workforce Analysis Reports expand on what can be found within the tables and provide 16 slides of analysis on related data.

Read and download the full reports and tables.

Population Trends and Characteristics

Population growth is examined for each of the 16 Michigan Works! areas (MWAs), Michigan, and the United States. From 2012 to 2022, seven MWAs experienced population growth that exceeded the statewide rate of 1.4 percent. West Michigan Works! had the highest growth at 7.5 percent and was the only MWA to exceed the national population growth rate of 6.0 percent.

Population growth in the West Michigan Works! area was the highest among MWAs and far exceeded statewide growth from 2012 to 2022.

Population Change, 2012–2022

Source: Population Estimates Program, U.S. Census Bureau


Labor Force and Employment Trends and Characteristics

Each report has information on the area’s labor force, employment, and unemployment trends including demographic breakdowns. Across MWAs, 2023 annual jobless rates were down compared to 2021, as labor markets recovered from the COVID-19 pandemic. The Detroit Employment Solutions Corporation area, covering the city of Detroit, saw a particularly strong recovery in this time period. Its 2023 unemployment rate of 7.6 percent was much lower than in 2021 as well as one percentage point below the 2019 rate. Despite this improvement, jobless rates for the area were still roughly twice as high compared to the state and nation.

Unemployment rates in the City of Detroit recovered strongly and were below 2019 levels in 2023.

Unemployment Rates by Area and Year

Source: Local Area Unemployment Statistics, Michigan Center for Data and Analytics


Individuals with Barriers to Employment

The reports and analysis discuss individuals with barriers to employment such as those with disabilities, assistance program recipients, those in poverty, and older workers. Each region has a unique population make up of those who identify with these demographics. For example, Michigan Works! Region 7B had the highest share of its working age population (16+) over the age of 55 at 53.8 percent, much higher than the statewide share of 39.0 percent. Among the area’s older residents, labor force participation and employment were low compared to rates statewide.

Individuals ages 55 and older made up a large share of the working age population in Michigan Works! Region 7B and had relatively low employment levels.

Labor Force Status of Population Age 55+

Source: 2018–2022 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates, U.S. Census Bureau


In-Demand Industry Sectors

The API analysis provides many ways to look at in-demand industry sectors and occupations. For industries, the analysis is shown in the form of employment numbers, percent changes in jobs, and employment distributions.  Industries in the Northwest Michigan Works! area exhibited growth similar to statewide trends for the 2017 to 2023 period. Specifically, there was strong employment growth in Construction both regionally and statewide at around 17 percent. Despite the similarities, one notable distinction is the Information industry, where employment in the Northwest Michigan Works! area declined by 9 percent in contrast to 3 percent growth at the state level.

Industry employment growth in the Northwest Michigan Works! area was similar to statewide trends from 2017 to 2023.

Private Sector Job Trends, 2017–2023

Source: Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages, Michigan Center for Data and Analytics


Overall, the API analysis reports contain important information and provide further insight into the economic status, demographic breakdowns, and barriers to employment in Michigan Works! areas and the state.


For more information, please review the full reports and tables