Why Greater Grand Rapids

Workforce

A Motivated Workforce Fueled by a Robust Talent Pipeline

More than nearly any other factor, companies choose locations because of the available workforce. Greater Grand Rapids has a regional workforce that is highly motivated, creative, and excels in technical and academic skills.

Grand Rapids is one of the cities leading Michigan's population growth, with a 4.0% increase in population over a 5-year period (2015-2020). Year over year, the city has been touted as a 'Millennial Magnet' by more than one independent study.

As the'No. 1 Mid-Sized Metro for Economic Growth Potential,' it's not hard to see why the region has continued to attract talented professionals from across the nation.

Workforce and Population Overview

A high-level overview of the Grand Rapids MSA and West Michigan workforce and population data

Data Set
Grand Rapids MSA*
West Michigan*
Data Set
Total Population
Grand Rapids MSA*
1,086,987
West Michigan*
1,626,529
Data Set
Growth Rate (2015-2020)
Grand Rapids MSA*
4.0%
West Michigan*
3.5%
Data Set
Civilian Labor Force
Grand Rapids MSA*
555,636
West Michigan*
794,947
Data Set
Jobs
Grand Rapids MSA*
601,954
West Michigan*
780,498
Data Set
Average Earnings Per Job
Grand Rapids MSA*
$63,300
West Michigan*
$58,700
Data Set
Gross Regional Product ($)
Grand Rapids MSA*
63.3B
West Michigan*
81.0B

*Grand Rapids-Kentwood Metropolitan Statistical Area consists of Kent, Ottawa, Montcalm, and Ionia counties

**West Michigan Region consists of Allegan, Barry, Ionia, Kent, Lake, Mason, Mecosta, Montcalm, Muskegon, Newaygo, Oceana, Osceola, and Ottawa counties.


Data Source: Emsi - Economy Overview Report

Top 10 Occupation Groups (2020)

A list of the top 10 occupation groups in the Greater Grand Rapids region.

Occupation
MSA*
West Michigan Region**
Occupation
Production Occupations
MSA*
84,562
West Michigan Region**
110,876
Occupation
Office and Administrative Support Occupations
MSA*
69,903
West Michigan Region**
87,691
Occupation
Transportation and Material Moving Occupations
MSA*
55,910
West Michigan Region**
70,089
Occupation
Sales and Related Occupations
MSA*
46,925
West Michigan Region**
64,154
Occupation
Food Preparation and Serving Related Occupations
MSA*
40,705
West Michigan Region**
54,721
Occupation
Healthcare Practitioners and Technical Occupations
MSA*
34,519
West Michigan Region**
43,285
Occupation
Education, Training, and Library Occupations
MSA*
30,472
West Michigan Region**
40,093
Occupation
Management Occupations
MSA*
27,505
West Michigan Region**
35,023
Occupation
Business and Financial Operations Occupations
MSA*
26,807
West Michigan Region**
31,911
Occupation
Installation, Maintenance, and Repair Occupations
MSA*
24,486
West Michigan Region**
31,705

*The MSA consists of the following counties: Kent, Ottawa, Montcalm and Ionia.


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

Data Source: Emsi - Industry Table

Wages by Occupation (2020)

A chart of wages by the region's top occupation categories, categorized by average hourly earnings.

Values reflect total occupational earnings for a region divided by number of jobs. Includes wages, salaries, supplements (additional employee benefits) and proprietor income.

*The MSA consists of the following counties: Kent, Ottawa, Montcalm and Ionia.


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

Data Source: Emsi - Occupation Table

Private Industry Union Membership by Percentage

*The MSA data in this chart covers of the following counties: Barry, Kent, Montcalm, and Ottawa.

**The 2000 CSA consists of the following counties: Allegan, Barry, Ionia, Kent, Ottawa, Muskegon, and Newaygo.

Data Source: Georgia State University, http://unionstats.gsu.edu/

  • Because this dataset relies on small samples, a 3-year rolling average is used to estimate union membership
  • Union data is available only for the 2000 configurations of the MSA and CSA.