Detroit and the surrounding region constitute a major center of commerce and global trade, most notably as home to America's 'Big Three' automobile companies, General Motors, Ford, and Chrysler. About 80,500 people work in downtown Detroit, comprising one-fifth of the city's employment base. Detroit's six county Metropolitan Statistical Area has a population of about 4.3 million and a workforce of about 2.1 million. In May 2011, the Department of Labor reported metropolitan Detroit's unemployment rate at 11.6%, with the city's unemployment rate for May 2011 at 20%. The Detroit MSA had a gross metropolitan product of $197.7 billion in 2010.
Firms in the region pursue emerging technologies including biotechnology, nanotechnology, information technology, and hydrogen fuel cell development. The city of Detroit has made efforts to lure the region's growth companies downtown with advantages such as a wireless Internet zone, business tax incentives, entertainment, an International Riverfront, and residential high rises. Compuware completed its world headquarters in downtown Detroit in 2003. OnStar, Blue Cross Blue Shield, and HP Enterprise Services have located at the Renaissance Center. PricewaterhouseCoopers Plaza offices are adjacent to Ford Field and Ernst & Young completed its office building at One Kennedy Square in 2006.
In 2010, Quicken Loans relocated its world headquarters and 4,000 employees to downtown Detroit consolidating its suburban offices, a move considered of high importance to city planners to reestablish the historic downtown. Some Fortune 500 companies headquartered in Detroit include General Motors, auto parts maker American Axle & Manufacturing, and DTE Energy. Other major industries include advertising, law, finance, biomedical research, health care, and computer software. The law firm of Miller, Canfield, Paddock & Stone, one of the largest in the U.S., has offices in both Detroit and Windsor. Wayne State University and medical service providers are major employers in the city. Metro Detroit area is one of the leading health care economies in the U.S. according to a 2003 study measuring health care industry components, with the region's hospital sector ranked fourth in the nation.