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Detroit Deemed Worst Market for High-End Execs

Metro Detroit continues to have the worst job market for high-end executive positions among major cities nationwide, but a new market report shows increased job listings in health, technology and nontraditional sectors.

October 19, 2007
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Metro Detroit continues to have the worst job market for high-end executive positions among major cities nationwide, but a new market report shows increased job listings in health, technology and nontraditional sectors.

A third-quarter report released this month by New York-based job board TheLadders.com ranks Detroit last among 20 metropolitan areas for executives seeking positions with $100,000-plus salaries. The city has held that position for at least a year.

But unlike previous quarters, the period ending September 30 showed improved numbers in metro Detroit for four out of six employment sectors the company tracks. Five of the six sectors had shown a decrease for each of the previous two quarters.

TheLadders.com is an online job listing service for paying members seeking executive positions with salaries of $100,000 or more.

“In that range for us, it would typically be corporate positions, from managers to some director and vice president positions [and] all in Ann Arbor,” says Shereen Solaiman, vice president of human resources for Borders Group Inc.

John Bukovicz, president and CEO of Bloomfield Hills-based Corporate Consulting Associates Inc., which also handles executive recruitment, says he also is seeing steady growth in health care. The growth in IT and telecommunications, he says, began about two years ago.

But he cautioned that a surge in online job listings won’t always mean an equal number of new hires. Some employers post listings in two or more industry sectors seeking applicants with “a hybrid of skills” for just one position.

TheLadders.com’s quarterly report shows that metro Detroit’s job market had one job opening for every 16 members seeking work. The second-worst metropolitan area market was Tampa, Florida, with a ratio of 8-to-1.

On the bright side, third-quarter metro Detroit job openings in health care, biotechnology and pharmaceuticals were up 50 percent from the previous quarter, from 82 to 123 listings.

Technology, telecommunications and IT listings in metro Detroit were up more than 40 percent at 145 jobs, compared with 101 the preceding quarter. Job listings in the services sector were up 10 percent, from 100 to 110.

Media and advertising jobs increased less than 2 percent, while the quarter saw major declines in job listings from the industrial and consumer/retail segments.

Filed by Chad Halcom of Crain’s Detroit Business, a sister publication of Workforce Management. To comment, e-mail editors@workforce.com.

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