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 99,000 health care and social services professionals
- Over 800,000 individuals between the ages of 20 and 54
- More than 158,000 advanced manufacturing professionals
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Workforce Overview (2018)
|Civilian Labor Force (2017)||573,055||824,413|
|Average Earnings (2017)||$55,100||$54,000|
Top 10 Occupation Groups (2018)
|Office & Admin. Support Occupations||82,922||107,012|
|Sales and Related Occupations||56,009||76,064|
|Transportation/Material Moving Occupations||47,791||61,692|
|Food Preparation/Serving Related Occupations||44,817||60,172|
|Healthcare Practitioners/Technical Occupations||35,077||44,900|
|Education, Training, & Library Occupations||32,911||43,308|
|Business & Financial Operations Occupations||26,857||32,135|
|Installation, Maintenance & Repair Occupations||24,536||32,935|
Wages by Occupation - Average Hourly Earnings (2018)
Private Industry Union Membership by Percentage
Top 20 West Michigan Employers (2017)
|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.