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Workforce
 

More than nearly any other factor, companies choose locations because of the available workforce. West Michigan has a regional workforce that is highly motivated, creative, and excels in technical and academic skills. With half of our 1.5 million residents under the age of 35, area employers can draw from a large pool of young, technically savvy, energetic workers. What’s not to love?

West Michigan offers:
  • More than 87,000 health care and social services professionals
  • Over 700,000 individuals between the ages of 20 and 54
  • More than 140,000 advanced manufacturing professionals



Top 10 Occupation Groups (2014)

 Description  MSA* West Michigan**
 Office & Admin. Support Occupations 76,814 100,149
 Production Occupations 71,653 97,039
 Sales and Related Occupations 52,084 71,837
 Food Preparation/Serving Related Occupations 42,167 57,309
 Transportation/Material Moving Occupations 37,520 48,680
 Healthcare Practitioners/Technical Occupations 29,260 38,118
 Management Occupations 30,570 40,460
 Education, Training, & Library Occupations 28,722 40,199
 Business & Financial Operations Occupations 24,239 29,194
 Installation, Maintenance & Repair Occupations 20,416 28,278
Data source: Economic Modeling Specialists International (EMSI)

Download the complete Jobs by Occupation list (Excel).
Download the complete West Michigan Data Set (PDF).



Wages by Occupation (Average Hourly Earnings)(2014)
 Description MSA* West Michigan**
 Management $42.89 $40.59
 Legal $39.88 $38.48
 Computer and Mathematical $33.17 $32.36
 Healthcare Practitioners/Technical $32.52 $32.41
 Life/Physical/Social Science $30.09 $31.34
 Architecture/Engineering $31.24 $30.82
 Business/Financial Operations $29.41 $28.85
 Education/Training/Library $24.38 $23.62
 Community and Social Service $21.81 $21.56
 Installation, Maintenance, and Repair Occupations $19.94 $19.54
Data source: Economic Modeling Specialists International (EMSI)

Download the complete Wages by Occupation list (PDF).
Download the complete West Michigan Data Set (Excel).



Private Industry Union Membership by Percentage

 Time Period 2000 MSA  2000 CSA**
 Average 2007-2009 6.4% 8.6%
 Average 2008-2010 8.7% 8.5%
 Average 2009-2011 9.3% 9.0%
 Average 2010-2012 8.7% 8.8%
 Average 2011-2013 7.2% 7.4%
 Average 2012-2014 5.5% 5.9%
Data Source: Georgia State University, http://unionstats.gsu.edu/



Educational Attainment (2014)

 Degree MSA* West Michigan**
 Graduate Degree and Higher 9.6% 8.2%
 Bachelor's Degree 19.5% 16.7%
 Associate's Degree 8.7% 8.8%
 Some College 22.9% 23.3%
 High School Diploma 28.6% 31.5%
 9th-12th Grade 6.4% 7.1%
 Less Than 9th Grade 4.5% 4.4%
Data source: Economic Modeling Specialists International (EMSI)


*The 2010 MSA consists of the following counties: Barry, Kent, Montcalm and Ottawa.
**
The West Michigan region consists of the following counties: Allegan, Barry, Ionia, Kent, Lake, Mason, Mecosta, Montcalm, Muskegon, Newaygo, Oceana, Osceola, and Ottawa.
***The 2000 CSA consists of the following counties: Allegan, Barry, Ionia, Kent, Ottawa, Muskegon, and Newaygo.