Posts tagged Grand Rapids
By: David Czurak
From the Grand Rapids Business Journal
The combined cities of Grand Rapids and Wyoming were named by Site Selection magazine as the nation’s tenth ranked metro area among locales with a population between 200,000 and 1 million.
Dayton, Ohio, captured the top spot in that category.
Site Selection has made these awards annually since 1978 and it focuses on “new corporate facility projects with significant impact” to compile its rankings.
The Best Cities For Raising A Family
Tom Van Riper, Forbes Staff
Grand Rapids, Michigan doesn’t boast a lot of affluence. The metro area population of 774,000 carries a median household of $47,040, good for just 65th place among America’s 100 largest MSAs. The city’s major claims to fame come from being a national leader in office furniture production, and for being the hometown of a U.S. president, Gerald Ford.
What Grand Rapids does have: the distinction of being the best metro area in the country to raise a family in. Income may be relatively low, but the cost of living is even lower. The local school system ranks in the top third in the country. Commuting to work is a breeze. The housing foreclosure mess didn’t leave Grand Rapids unscathed, chopping about 12% off area home values over the past few years. But that’s still quite modest compared to many other places. Almost 90% of Grand Rapids’ housing stock is affordable to a family at the median income level, the seventh-highest rate in the country. And the local crime rate falls well below the national average.
Jacquelyn Smith, Forbes Staff
Employers in all 50 states expect the bleak employment picture to perk up during the three-month period ending in September. In fact, hiring managers in dozens of metropolitan areas anticipate considerable increases in hiring, while others present a darker forecast.
The employment services firm ManpowerGroup has surveyed more than 18,000 employers in 100 metropolitan areas to find out who’s hiring, who’s firing and who plans to maintain their current staff levels in the third quarter of 2011, July through September. Of the surveyed employers, 20% anticipate an increase in staffing levels in their second quarter hiring plans, while 8% expect a decrease in payrolls. The difference between those numbers gives you what ManpowerGroup calls a net employment outlook of 12%–or 8% when seasonally adjusted, which is still up from 6% for the same period last year. Sixty-nine percent of employers expect no change in their staffing, and the final 3% of employers are uncertain.
The survey reveals that the metropolitan area with the most optimistic forecast of all for hiring this summer is Grand Rapids-Wyoming, Michigan.
“This is the strongest outlook we’ve seen in the Grand Rapids-Wyoming market in almost three years,” says Melanie Holmes, a vice president at ManpowerGroup. “The market results are considerably more optimistic than last quarter and one year ago. Among our clients, we’ve seen real strength among manufacturing employers as well as a demand for clerical and customer service support.”
The Grand Rapids-Wyoming region enjoys a 24% net employment outlook, the percentage of employers that expect to add employees (30%) minus the percentage that expect to reduce their workforce (6%). Another 61% said they anticipate no change, and 3% didn’t know.
“This does not come as a surprise,” says Kevin Stotts, vice president of community programs at the Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce. “The employers I have spoke with, either large or small, have been very optimistic over the past several months. In fact, a persistent challenge with many employers in the area has been finding qualified talent to meet their needs. While specific sectors may not have rebounded as quickly, most are doing better than 2010, which was a strong year.”
To read the rest of the Forbes article, please click here.