Employment in the region increased by 5,500, though unemployment declined only by 1,100 people because the region’s civilian labor force increased by 4,400 workers.
The October 2003 to October 2004 employment increase in the region’s counties was:
— from 307,225 to 313,375. Kent — from 133,025 to 135,700 Ottawa — from 74,659 to 76,150 Muskegon
The Grand Rapids MSA unemployment rate remains slightly below the seasonally unadjusted statewide unemployment rate of 6 percent.
According to the monthly survey of employers, the number of wage and salary jobs in the region increased slightly last month from 565,800 to 567,100.
Gains since September in education services (plus 3,000), and state and local government (plus 3,700) were offset by job declines in non-durable goods manufacturing (minus 1,000), trade, transportation and warehousing (minus 1,500), and leisure and hospitality (minus 1,800).
Other sectors changed insignificantly.