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GRDadof3

West Michigan Economy Articles

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My company has a few openings and we've had a hard time finding good applicants. The HR manager says a lot of companies are having the same problem.

-nb

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My company has a few openings and we've had a hard time finding good applicants. The HR manager says a lot of companies are having the same problem.

-nb

In what industry, if you don't mind me asking?

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In what industry, if you don't mind me asking?

Well, the positions we have are in networking and software engineering, though that's not my company's industry. Rapidparts is a distributor of aftermarket forklift parts. We're a subsidiary of Mitsubishi Caterpillar Forklift America (Their web site sucks, I'm not responsible for that!) So, while MCFA sells OEM parts, we (Rapidparts) sell parts that fit our competitors forklifts so Cat and Mit dealers can service them as well. And that's probably more information than you cared to know. :)

-nb

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Well, the positions we have are in networking and software engineering, though that's not my company's industry. Rapidparts is a distributor of aftermarket forklift parts. We're a subsidiary of Mitsubishi Caterpillar Forklift America (Their web site sucks, I'm not responsible for that!) So, while MCFA sells OEM parts, we (Rapidparts) sell parts that fit our competitors forklifts so Cat and Mit dealers can service them as well. And that's probably more information than you cared to know. :)

-nb

No, not at all. Thanks for the info.

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In my industry you're never in short supply of help wanted adds. Even during the Western Michigan Job downturn, we were still in hot demand. I think our economy is simply going thru an inevitable transition to where you need more education. Gone are the days in Michigan where a High School diploma will get you $35/hr and overtime with outstanding bene's at GM.

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In my industry you're never in short supply of help wanted adds. Even during the Western Michigan Job downturn, we were still in hot demand. I think our economy is simply going thru an inevitable transition to where you need more education. Gone are the days in Michigan where a High School diploma will get you $35/hr and overtime with outstanding bene's at GM.

MJLO, I think you hit the nail right on the head :thumbsup:

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Local job market improves

Unemployment is down a whole percentage point over this time last year. I've also heard that home sales are starting to pick up again in the area, and condo sales downtown (on certain projects) are on fire.

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That's good to know Jeff. I know west Michigan's population growth has slowed to a trickle. Do you think now that we are starting to get on the other side of an economic transition that the population growth might pick up to the levels they were at during the 90's?

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That's good to know Jeff. I know west Michigan's population growth has slowed to a trickle. Do you think now that we are starting to get on the other side of an economic transition that the population growth might pick up to the levels they were at during the 90's?

I don't think it has slowed to a trickle. I still think it's around 3.5 - 4.0% year. I'm sure Phizzy can give us the numbers.

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I think he did, I don't think it was anywhere near that high, although maybe from 2000- 05 it might be between 3 and 4 percent.

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I think he did, I don't think it was anywhere near that high, although maybe from 2000- 05 it might be between 3 and 4 percent.

If you're referring to THIS thread, he only posted population growth of GR and its 2nd Tier Suburbs, which was 2.8% from 2000 - 2004, but not the entire MSA. I'll see if I can find it somewhere.

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Word, but does GRap really have third teir suburbs? I mean, after Alpine TWP are they still suburbs.

and I swear....Can Kent county officially hit the 600k mark already!

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May I ask what would qualilfy a suburb as "teired"? Is it a township or city over a certain population?

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May I ask what would qualilfy a suburb as "teired"? Is it a township or city over a certain population?

Think of it as layers. The inner layers would be EGR, Walker, Wyoming, Kentwood. Second tier being Alpine Twp, Grandville, etc. The further you go away from the center city, the higher the tier.

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"Need a job, stick around West Michigan" - says Manpower

This article is very "East vs. West". Interesting.

Interesting. Seems there are more and more articles covering this dichotomy in our state. I think the upcoming election for governor will be as much a referendum on east vs. west as it is on liberal vs. conservative or GOP vs. Dem.

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Think of it as layers. The inner layers would be EGR, Walker, Wyoming, Kentwood. Second tier being Alpine Twp, Grandville, etc. The further you go away from the center city, the higher the tier.

:lol: I know that much, but I was wondering why we wouldn't have more then just one teir burbs... I was wondering more about MJ's last post.

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I'd think to get outselves some tier 3s... the GR area would have to extend along the road to Standale and Allendale. Walker would be 1st tier, Standale 2nd, and then Allendale 3rd...

Either that or we'd have to wait for areas like Ross or Cornith to grow a little and become incorporated. (Or are they?)

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If you count any suburbs in the GR MSA the last teir would be suburbs out in Allegan, Barry, Ionia, and Newaygo counties.

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If you're referring to THIS thread, he only posted population growth of GR and its 2nd Tier Suburbs, which was 2.8% from 2000 - 2004, but not the entire MSA. I'll see if I can find it somewhere.
According to the Census Bureau, the MSA grew 4.15% from 2000-2005, and the CMSA grew 4.83% during the same period. If trends continue, the MSA will grow 7.90% from 2000-2010, and the CMSA will grow 9.21% during the same period.

For comparison, the MSA grew 14.64% from 1990-2000, and the CMSA grew 15.83% during the same period.

So, it would appear that growth has slowed to 50%-60% of previous 1990-2000 growth.

However, by the end of the 1990's, the Census Bureau was underestimating the population in many GR metro counties significantly:

Kent: ~20,100 underestimate

Ottawa: ~4,700 underestimate

Barry: ~1,700 underestimate

Muskegon: ~1,500 underestimate

Allegan: ~1,200 underestimate

Ionia: ~6,400 overestimate (not sure how they overestimated by ~6,400, perhaps some confusion arose following Ionia's annexation of land)

Who's to say they aren't underestimating again?

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Ionia: ~6,400 overestimate (not sure how they overestimated by ~6,400, perhaps some confusion arose following Ionia's annexation of land)

Could be overestimating, but in Ionia's case could also be confusion about the prisoner population. Inclusion of prisoners in the census figures is a big deal in Ionia because they make up such a large percentage of the city's total numbers. I've heard stories that Wal-Mart was dissapointed and puzzled by the less than expected sales at their new Supercenter in Ionia. Further review on Wal-Mart's numbers revealed that they were inadvertently counting prisoners as potential customers because of how the census numbers work.

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Could be overestimating, but in Ionia's case could also be confusion about the prisoner population. Inclusion of prisoners in the census figures is a big deal in Ionia because they make up such a large percentage of the city's total numbers. I've heard stories that Wal-Mart was dissapointed and puzzled by the less than expected sales at their new Supercenter in Ionia. Further review on Wal-Mart's numbers revealed that they were inadvertently counting prisoners as potential customers because of how the census numbers work.
Excellent point. I didn't think of that. Below is the census and estimates for Ionia from 1990 - 2000. You can see how wacky the estimates were.

April 1, 1990 Census: 10,886

July 1, 1990 Estimate: 10,896

July 1, 1991 Estimate: 15,795 (big gain? :dontknow: )

July 1, 1992 Estimate: 15,670

July 1, 1993 Estimate: 16,047

July 1, 1994 Estimate: 16,066

July 1, 1995 Estimate: 16,043

July 1, 1996 Estimate: 16,157

July 1, 1997 Estimate: 16,397

July 1, 1998 Estimate: 16,498

July 1, 1999 Estimate: 16,414

April 1, 2000 Census: 11,528 (big loss? :dontknow: )

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Excellent point. I didn't think of that. Below is the census and estimates for Ionia from 1990 - 2000. You can see how wacky the estimates were.

April 1, 1990 Census: 10,886

July 1, 1990 Estimate: 10,896

July 1, 1991 Estimate: 15,795 (big gain? :dontknow: )

July 1, 1992 Estimate: 15,670

July 1, 1993 Estimate: 16,047

July 1, 1994 Estimate: 16,066

July 1, 1995 Estimate: 16,043

July 1, 1996 Estimate: 16,157

July 1, 1997 Estimate: 16,397

July 1, 1998 Estimate: 16,498

July 1, 1999 Estimate: 16,414

April 1, 2000 Census: 11,528 (big loss? :dontknow: )

Wow those numbers are crazy. Moral of the story: census numbers are to be taken with a big ol' grain of salt. :wacko:

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The original 1990 census count for Ionia was 5935, with that census, Belding was the largest city in Ionia county at 5969. I'm not sure when Ionia Annexed the extra Land, but it was some time during the 90's.

Don't ask me how I have those numbers just lodged in my head, lets just say i've been a nerd for a very long time.

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