Grand Rapids metro ranks No. 2 in U.S. for job growth


The Grand Rapids metro is among the 100 most-populous metros recently analyzed for job growth, by industry, between 2010-2013. Image via

A diverse economy and the presence of a growing tech industry have helped the Grand Rapids metro rank No. 2 in the U.S. for per-capita job growth.

CareerBuilder and Economic Modeling Specialists International, a CareerBuilder company, recently released an interactive map titled “Industries That Drive America’s Metros.”

The purpose of the map is to show the driver industries for the 100 most-populous metros in the U.S., based on 2013 jobs, regional concentration, average earnings and/or job growth.

EMSI analyzes the map in an article for Forbes.

Tech tied to growth

“While the regions with the most vibrant economies don’t just specialize in one industry or cluster of industries, almost all of them have established tech sectors,” according to the article.

Salt Lake City, Grand Rapids, San Jose and Austin — the top four cities by job growth between 2010-2013 — have something in common: a strong nucleus of software and computer firms, EMSI reports.

And while software publishing and computer systems are not listed as driver industries in Grand Rapids, tech jobs are still an important facet of the growing economy.

Computer systems design accounts for 2,200 jobs in Grand Rapids in 2013, up 6 percent from 2010, and “other professional, technical and scientific services industries are showing robust growth,” EMSI reports.

Growth industries in Grand Rapids metro

Several industries are driving job growth in the Grand Rapids-Wyoming metro, according to EMSI’s data and map: general medical and surgical hospitals, motor vehicle parts manufacturing, insurance carriers, plastics product manufacturing, office furniture manufacturing, metalworking machinery manufacturing, motor vehicle and motor vehicle parts and supplies merchants, grain and oilseed milling, and motor vehicle body and trailer manufacturing.

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