[Skip to Content]

The Right Place

West Michigan 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, tech-savvy, energetic workers. What’s not to love?

West Michigan offers:

  • More than 94,000 health care and social services professionals
  • Over 700,000 individuals between the ages of 20 and 54
  • More than 150,000 advanced manufacturing professionals

Top 10 Occupation Groups (2019)

Description MSA* West Michigan Region**
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)

Description MSA* West Michigan Region**
Management $48.53 $46.27
Legal $38.37 $37.63
Healthcare Practitioners/Technical $35.64 $35.97
Architecture/Engineering $34.55 $34.34
Computer and Mathematical $32.60 $32.60
Business/Financial Operations $31.14 $31.14
Life/Physical/Social Science $30.36 $30.60
Military Occupations $26.33 $26.19
Education/Training/Library $25.26 $24.99
Arts, Design, Entertainment, Sports & Media $23.55 $23.54

Private Industry Union Membership

Time Period MSA CSA*** Michigan
Average 2006-2008 9% 9.3% 14.3%
Average 2007-2009 6.4% 8.6% 13.8%
Average 2008-2010 8.7% 8.5% 12.8%
Average 2009-2011 9.3% 9.0% 12.3%
Average 2010-2012 8.7% 8.8% 11.9%
Average 2011-2013 7.2% 7.4% 11.8%
Average 2012-2014 5.5% 5.9% 11.3%
Average 2013-2015 6% 6.1% 11.4%
Average 2014-2016 6.1% 6.6% 11.2%

Citations

Data source: Economic Modeling Specialists International (EMSI) / www.economicmodeling.com.

*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.