[Skip to Content]

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 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

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

Workforce Overview (2019)

MSA West Michigan
Total Population 1,081,457 1,619,133
Civilian Labor Force (2019) 574,584 825,594
Jobs 621,968 807,008
Average Earnings (2019) $54,300 $56,700

Top 10 Occupation Groups (2019)

Description MSA* West Michigan**
Production Occupations 92,678 120,435
Office & Admin. Support Occupations 81,335 103,253
Sales and Related Occupations 54,480 73,811
Transportation/Material Moving Occupations 51,934 64,446
Food Preparation/Serving Related Occupations 45,407 60,070
Healthcare Practitioners/Technical Occupations 35,526 44,868
Management Occupations 31,044 41,249
Education, Training, & Library Occupations 30,432 40,290
Business & Financial Operations Occupations 27,240 32,393
Installation, Maintenance & Repair Occupations 24,383 32,391

Wages by Occupation - Average Hourly Earnings (2019)

MSA West Michigan

Private Industry Union Membership by Percentage

Grand Rapids MSA CSA

Top 20 West Michigan Employers (2020)

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) 8,500 General Medical and Surgical Hospitals
Gentex Corporation (HQ) 5,800 Glass Product Manufacturing for Automobile Industry
Gordon Food Service (HQ) 5,000 Grocery and Related Products Merchant Wholesalers
Amway Corporation (HQ) 3,791 Consumer Goods Manufacturing
Herman Miller Inc. (HQ) 3,621 Office Furniture Manufacturing
Perrigo Company (HQ) 3,500 Pharmaceutical Manufacturing
Steelcase Inc. (HQ) 3,500 Office Furniture Manufacturing
Farmers Insurance Group 3,500 Direct Property and Casualty Insurance Carrier
Grand Valley State University (HQ) 3,306 Higher Education
Lacks Enterprises, Inc. (HQ) 3,000 Plastic Manufacturing for Automobile Industry
Grand Rapids Public Schools (HQ) 2,800 Elementary and Secondary Schools
Arconic, Inc. 2,350 Metal Manufacturing
Hope Network 2,162 Non-Profit
Metro Health Hospital 2,100 General Medical and Surgical Hospitals
Roskam Baking Co. 2,090 Food Processing
Fifth Third Bank 2,062 Banking - Personal & Commercial
Haworth, Inc. 2,000 Office Furniture Manufacturing
SpartanNash (HQ) 2,585 Supermarket Retail & Distribution

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.