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The 2010 census data show that Ann Arbor has experienced a small decline in population since the 2000 census. A close look, however, shows that the City lost more non-student residents that show up in the totals because the increase in the University of Michigan student enrollment makes up for much of the decline in non-student population.

Our city administration consistently plans for growth. The fact that the city has lost population and the city and county have lost jobs does not affect that planning. The Co-Chair of the County Economic Development board made this observation:

So far this year [2009], Washtenaw County has lost 9,454 jobs out of the 169,196 that we started the year with, or a loss rate of 5.6% of our jobs.

Jobs peaked in November 2007 at 182,749, so the recession so far has eliminated 23,007 jobs in the county, or 12.6% of the total. Unfortunately, the data also shows that the all-time high in jobs in the county was set in March 2001, at 190,136.

So we’ve been losing jobs for eight years now.
Washtenaw County needs to talk about stemming jobs losses. By: Stephen Lange Ranzini

As we encourage building more new shiny towers in a community with significant vacancy rates in homes, residential rentals, retail and business, we must consider the negative impact of increased vacancies. Building for growth while losing jobs and population is not sustainable. It doesn't matter how many LEED certified buildings, LED light fixtures or bike paths we introduce, if we are building unneeded capacity.