Since 2010, the number of people seeking work through the Washtenaw County's Michigan Works office has declined 23 percent, says workforce development manager Shamar Herron, from 15,782 to 12,198. Herron cautions that the local recovery depends on southeast Michigan's recovery, and the region hasn't recovered yet. But looking back on the Great Recession, Herron says, "We're close to an end. In maybe eighteen months we'll be back to the Washtenaw County that people remember."
"Like the dropping unemployment rate, some of the decline [in people registering at Michigan Works] is due to folks finding employment, and some is due to them abandoning their search," emails Mary Jo Callan, director of the county's office of community and economic development. Relatively few, though, are leaving the state: "Of the 700+ job seekers we helped to find employment last year, we know of seven for whom that meant leaving Michigan."
Callan writes that people are getting "all kinds [of jobs], from higher- to low-wage, from software engineers, to machine operators, to retail clerks, to housekeepers." As was the case last year, "we are still seeing many folks taking longer to find a job than we did pre-recession, but job leads have picked up and employers are definitely hiring. For many job seekers, however, re-employment means switching gears to try another line of work, and as often, adjusting expectations about the type of wages that employers are willing to pay compared to what they were making before."