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The Right Place

Workforce Data

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, tech-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

Don't see what you're looking for? Our research team can help your company find detailed workforce data. Please contact us.

Workforce Overview

MSA West Michigan
Total Population 1,047,200 1,580,023
Civilian Labor Force 567,415 819,443
Jobs 578,700 767,146
Average Earnings $52,900 $51,353

Top 10 Occupation Groups (2016)

Description MSA* West Michigan**
Office & Admin. Support Occupations 80,572 105,011
Production Occupations 73,739 99,394
Sales and Related Occupations 54,909 74,826
Transportation/Material Moving Occupations 47,984 59,430
Food Preparation/Serving Related Occupations 42,982 58,553
Education, Training, & Library Occupations 30,885 43,120
Management Occupations 30,680 41,278
Healthcare Practitioners/Technical Occupations 30,605 39,279
Installation, Maintenance & Repair Occupations 21,958 30,514
Business & Financial Operations Occupations 23,561 28,571

Wages by Occupation - Average Hourly Earnings (2016)

MSA West Michigan

Private Industry Union Membership by Percentage

Grand Rapids MSA Michigan

Top 20 West Michigan Employers (2017)

Company Employee Count Industry
Spectrum Health (HQ) 25,000 General Medical and Surgical Hospitals
Meijer (HQ) 10,340 Supermarket Retail & Distribution
Mercy Health (Kent & Muskegon) 6,200 General Medical and Surgical Hospitals
Amway Corporation (HQ) 4,000 Consumer Goods Manufacturing
Gentex Corporation (HQ) 3,900 Glass Product Manufacturing for Automobile Industry
Perrigo Company (HQ) 3,800 Pharmaceutical Manufacturing
Herman Miller Inc. (HQ) 3,621 Office Furniture Manufacturing
Steelcase Inc. (HQ) 3,500 Office Furniture Manufacturing
Grand Valley State University (HQ) 3,306 Higher Education
Lacks Enterprises, Inc. (HQ) 2,800 Plastic Manufacturing for Automobile Industry
Grand Rapids Public Schools (HQ) 2,800 Elementary and Secondary Schools
Farmers Insurance Group 2,700 Direct Property and Casualty Insurance Carrier
SpartanNash (HQ) 2,585 Supermarket Retail & Distribution
Gordon Food Service (HQ) 2,544 Grocery and Related Products Merchant Wholesalers
Magna International Inc 2,500 Glass Product Manufacturing for Automobile Industry
Metro Health Hospital 2,400 General Medical and Surgical Hospitals
Ventra 2,384 Motor Vehicle Plastic Parts & Metal Stamping
Alcoa Howmet Corp. 2,350 Aerospace Instrument & Aircraft Engine Parts Manufacturing
Fifth Third Bank 2,280 Banking - Personal & Commercial
Priority Health (HQ) 2,250 Direct Health and Medical Insurance Carriers

Citations and Data Sources

* Companies with an (HQ) after their company name are headquartered in West Michigan.
*The 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.

Top Employers data source: When possible, company employee numbers are obtained from company staff or websites. Other sources include press reporting and business reporting agencies.

Private Industry Union Membership data: Georgia State University, http://unionstats.gsu.edu

All other data sources: Economic Modeling Specialists International (EMSI) / www.economicmodeling.com.