"The unemployment rate has been slowly declining in the Detroit metro area, falling from 16.9% in July 2009 to about 9% last month. However, the unemployment rate does not tell us much about the people who have lost jobs and the hardships they face," they wrote.
Seefeldt, an assistant professor of social work, and Burgard, an associate professor of sociology, are two of the leading researchers on the Michigan Recession and Recovery Survey, which is being conducted by the Ford School-based National Poverty Center. The MRRS is an ongoing panel study of 850 families in Southeast Michigan designed to help researchers understand how the Great Recession and subsequent American Reinvestment and Recovery Act have affected the well-being of workers and families.
"We've seen some recovery over the last several years in that the unemployment rate, food insecurity and some other problems were not as prevalent in 2011 as they were in 2009," the authors wrote. "But as the Great Recession becomes a more distant memory for some, we need to remember those who continue to feel its long-lasting effects."
Seefeldt and Burgard, along with NPC director Sheldon Danziger, also penned an op-ed last week for the Huffington Post, "How to Fight Poverty in Detroit."