O’Brien Announces Positive Economic Outlook for Kalamazoo County

LANSING, Mich.—Senator Margaret O’Brien announced on Friday that the state’s career outlook information shows that Michigan’s business climate is improving and spurring economic growth and job creation.

“Michigan is showing positive signs of economic growth, which is great news for Southwest Michigan families, job creators and job seekers,” said O’Brien, R-Portage. “Nearly 400,000 private sector jobs have been created in four years and unemployment has been reduced from a high of 14.2 percent in 2009 to 5.6 percent today — the lowest it has been since 2001.”

The Career Outlook 2020 numbers have been compiled for 18 Michigan regions by the Department of Technology, Management and Budget (DTMB) Bureau of Labor Market Information and Strategic Initiatives and the Michigan Workforce Development Agency.

According to the outlook for Kalamazoo County and St. Joseph County, the industry with the largest projected job growth is health care, with 2,140 new jobs. Other sectors with large job growth projections in the region include food service, education, office and clerical work and manufacturing and engineering.

“This information points to strong future job growth and also highlights current advertised job openings in Kalamazoo,” O’Brien said. “This is encouraging news for those looking for work or considering a career change and especially Michigan students contemplating which career path to pursue. Kalamazoo County is a great place to live, work and raise a family and I am confident that with further reforms we will see even more improvement in economic projections for the area.”

The largest number of online advertised jobs currently available are for truck/tractor drivers with 1,204 jobs openings, industrial engineers with 551 openings and customer service professionals with 443 openings.

“From Southwest Michigan First’s consultations with existing employers, we surmise that the numbers of open positions might even be higher for some occupations, like mechanical engineers, if employers could fill their current employment gaps,” said Ron Kitchens, CEO of Southwest Michigan First. “We applaud Governor Snyder’s commitment to supporting continued economic development efforts and workforce development through tools, like the Skilled Trades Training Fund and career and technical training coursework, to meet future employer demands.”

Career outlook information for Kalamazoo and St. Joseph counties can be downloaded as a PDF file by clicking here.

Customized information for each region of the state is also available online at www.milmi.org. Click on “Publications” in the left column and then click on “Career Outlook 2020.”