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My Town: Job outlook for the area largely positive | Business

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My Town: Job outlook for the area largely positive
Business, News
My Town: Job outlook for the area largely positive

KENT COUNTY, Mich.—Despite the harsh winter, businesses in West Michigan added 9,500 jobs during the first quarter of 2014.

That’s according to a newly released report by the W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research. Analysts found employment in West Michigan’s six metropolitan areas jumped 1.1 percent.    The biggest increases were reported in manufacturing and private service sectors.   

In the Grand Rapids-Wyoming area, employers added 7,200 jobs in the first quarter, driving down the area’s unemployment rate to 5.8 percent.   Analysts say there was solid growth across all sectors, and they expect the job market to remain strong in the coming months.

The Holland-Grand Haven area saw solid growth across all sectors in its first quarter.  Ottawa County added nearly 1,500 jobs, pushing down the unemployment rate to 5.7 percent.  Analysts say economic indicators were positive for the quarter, suggesting current employment conditions may hold steady in the coming months.

The Kalamazoo-Portage area had a flat first quarter.  The manufacturing sector’s workforce grew by 0.5 percent and construction employment rose by 2.6 percent, but the private service sector remained unchanged, while government employment dropped 1.0 percent.  Despite the lackluster start, the area’s unemployment rate fell to 6.7 percent.  Analysts say the mixed economic indicators could mean only slight improvements in employment in the coming months.

The Muskegon-Norton Shores market saw moderate private sector employment growth.  Employment in Muskegon County rose by 0.7 percent in the first quarter; a gain of 460 jobs.  Manufacturing and private service sectors all saw increases, while government employment dropped by 1.6 percent.  The area’s overall unemployment rate dropped to 7.7 percent for the quarter.

For the entire report, click here.

Business, News