Great Lakes generate more than 1.5 million jobs, study finds

Feb 25, 2011

The Great Lakes have a bigger impact on Michigan’s economy than many people  may realize.

The Michigan Sea Grant says more than a million and a half jobs are directly connected to the Great Lakes.

Those jobs generate more than $62 billion in wages every year.

"This is the second time we've done this analysis," says Jennifer Read of Michigan Sea Grant. "And it's always surprising -- to me, at least --  the extent of the jobs that are directly related to the Great Lakes, across multiple sectors.  It's just a huge impact.

 Michigan Sea Grant is part of the NOAA-National Sea Grant network of more than 30 university-based programs, including the University of Michigan and Michigan  State University.

Read says Michigan has the highest number of jobs that depend on the lakes – more than a half-million.

Most of the jobs are in manufacturing, shipping, fishing, recreation and tourism.