Study: Grand Rapids among best places to work in manufacturing

Courtesy West Michigan Works!

The Grand Rapids area is in the top 11% of the best places in the U.S. to work in manufacturing in 2020, according to a new report.

A study from SmartAsset compared 378 metro areas, and Grand Rapids-Wyoming was ranked the 42nd best place to work in manufacturing, or the 11.11th percentile.

Of the other Michigan cities in the top 50, Bay City ranked 17th, Niles-Benton Harbor ranked 28th and Saginaw ranked 45th.

Top 10 places to work in manufacturing

  1. St. Joseph, Missouri-Kansas
  2. Lafayette-West Lafayette, Indiana
  3. Hinesville, Georgia
  4. Decatur, Illinois
  5. Spartansburg, South Carolina
  6. Fon du Lac, Wisconsin
  7. Columbus, Indiana
  8. Rome, Georgia
  9. Appleton, Wisconsin
  10. Staunton-Waynesboro, Virginia


Data in the report comes from the U.S. Census Bureau and the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Metrics used included manufacturing as a percentage of the workforce; job and income growth between 2015 and 2018; job and income growth between 2017 and 2018; housing costs as a percentage of income; and October 2020 unemployment rates, to account for the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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