Auto/Economy
5:21 pm
Tue June 14, 2011

Fastest growing job market in the nation this summer? Grand Rapids

According to Manpower’s survey Grand Rapids has the best employment outlook of any other metro area in the country.

That’s not really news to Bill Benson, principle at WilliamCharles. He helps companies in the area find talented workers.

“I think people when they think of Michigan, they’re not aware of Grand Rapids. They think of southeast Michigan and automotive and our economy is very diverse. Nationally I think we’re a bit of a secret but I think people here will not be surprised by it.”

President and CEO of the Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce Rick Baker agrees.

“Michigan as a state is kind of getting a brand that we’re not hiring but, you know, we know locally that we’re kind of the shining start of Michigan and we’re kind of bucking that trend.”

One in five employers in the US plans to hire this summer.

Grand Rapids-based Lacks Enterprises is one of those companies. They make parts for the appliance and auto makers. Jim Green has been directing human resources there for 28 years.

“The last 8 to 12 months has been really hectic.”

Green says they’ve called back 400 workers who were laid off, added another 400 to the payroll, and he says they could hire another 100 workers this summer. 

“Primarily they’re direct labor positions in our facilities, but we’re also hiring support such as engineering, materials, supervision, mid-level management.”

Meanwhile Detroit still has one of the worst outlooks for job seekers in the country, but even there more jobs are expected to be created in the coming months.

99 out of 100 job markets will see job growth.

Nationally employers are expected to hire the most workers this summer in the leisure and hospitality, wholesale and retail trade, and mining industries.