Detroit and the surrounding region are a powerful manufacturing nucleus and the city is home to the three North American automotive industry giants: General Motors, Ford, and Chrysler.
The city is an important world trade center; major international companies have their offices in both Detroit and Windsor.
Approximately eighty thousand people work in the center of Detroit. There are hundreds of offices and plants related to articles used in the making of automobiles: parts, electronics, and design suppliers.
The domestic car industry contributes directly and indirectly with one of every ten jobs in the United States.
The area is also an important source of job opportunities in engineering. A study by the Border Transport Society in 2004 showed that 150,000 jobs in the Windsor-Detroit region and thirteen billion dollars in annual production depend on the city's international border crossing.
With its dependence on the automotive industry, the Detroit area is more vulnerable to economic cycles than most large cities. A rise in car manufacturing that uses robot technology, cheap labor in other parts of the world, and an increase in competition, have led to a transformation in certain job types in the regions.
In 2012 unemployment was officially 18.1% (although local authorities admit that this figure is deflated and that the real unemployment rate reaches 50%).