Monday, January 7, 2019

Disappearing U.S. city of the day: Flint, Michigan

While store cashiers are nowhere near extinct, the automation of labor is silently wiping out thousands of existing jobs across Michigan — and it's poised to grow. 
Analysis by Bloomberg of data from the Bureau of Labor and Statistics suggests that jobs with the highest risk of automation are lower-paying service jobs. Some restaurants, for instance, have begun to phase out wait staff and cooks in favor of iPads and kiosks. A total (though unlikely) shift in the industry would take 379,500 jobs in the state. Receptionists, also on the decline, account for 31,230 Michigan workers. And one day, self-driving cars could eliminate the need for truckers, taking the jobs of 53,040 Michigan residents.
Flint's population is now approaching its 1920 census level.

Source:  Wikipedia

Flint's population peaked at 196,940 in 1960.  Its 2017 estimated population is 96,448 -- a drop of 100,492, or 51%.

Source:  Wikipedia

African-Americans comprised 8.5% of the population in 1950.

Flint is the largest city in and county seat of Genesee County, where the population peaked at 450,449 in 1980.  Its 2017 estimated population is 407,385, a drop of 9.6 %.  The county 's population is 74.5% white.

Related reading:
Many Flint Residents Are Desperate to Leave, but See No Escape.  (The New York Times, 2/6/2016)
Flint was a city on the precipice long before its water crisis. In some respects, it resembles a miniature Detroit, marked by unemployment, blight and violent crime. Neighborhoods are pockmarked with abandoned homes, front doors missing and windows smashed. “No Metal” is scrawled in spray paint across some of the empty houses, a message meant to deter thieves looking for steel or copper to sell for scrap. 
The auto plants that once made this a booming middle-class city have mostly closed. In 1960, nearly 200,000 people lived here; now, fewer than half that do.
Here's how Flint went from boom town to nation's highest poverty rate.  (mlive, 9/21/2017)
"You saw the white flight starting in the early 1960s and I think that just strengthened it and made them leave faster. That has eroded the middle class and the higher class people in the city of Flint - leaving this large group of unemployed and people living in poverty."
The disappearing cities:
Baltimore, Maryland.  (12/31/2018)
Cairo, Illinois.   (1/5/2019)
Cleveland, Ohio (1/2/2018)
Detroit, Michigan.  (1/1/2019)
Gary, Indiana.  (1/4/2019)
Johnstown, Pennsylvania.  (1/6/2019)
St. Louis, Missouri.  (1/2/2019)

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