Grand Rapids, MI – December 2023 Jobs Report – Cautious Growth Despite Regional Slowdown

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Grand Rapids’s job market navigated December 2023 with a dose of cautious optimism. While job growth slowed compared to previous months, the unemployment rate remained stable, and specific sectors showcased encouraging signs. This nuanced picture suggests potential for steady progress in the year ahead.


  • Steady unemployment: At 2.8%, the unemployment rate stayed consistent, indicating a balanced labor market with neither widespread joblessness nor an abundance of unfilled positions.
  • Slower job growth: The nonfarm job count added only 70 positions compared to November, showcasing a deceleration in hiring activity.
  • Construction and trade show potential: These sectors added 20 and 10 jobs respectively, potentially reflecting ongoing building projects and holiday retail activity.

What Industries and Occupations Grew:

  • Construction: This industry gained 20 jobs, potentially tied to ongoing residential and commercial building projects.
  • Trade, Transportation, and Utilities: This sector added 10 jobs, with retail likely contributing during the holiday season.
  • Professional and Business Services: This sector saw stable employment with minor growth, potentially indicating future expansion in areas like finance and consulting.

What Industries and Occupations Shrank:

  • Manufacturing: This sector lost 15 jobs, which could be attributed to various factors within the broader industry.
  • Leisure and Hospitality: This industry shed 10 jobs, likely reflecting seasonal fluctuations in tourism and hospitality.
  • Government: This sector also lost 5 jobs, potentially due to budgetary constraints or other factors.

Compare to Same Month Last Year:

  • Unemployment rate: Down from 3.2% in December 2022, signifying a minor improvement in the labor market.
  • Nonfarm job growth: Lower than the 130 jobs added in December 2022, showcasing a slower pace of job creation.

Compare to Previous Month:

  • Unemployment rate: Remained unchanged compared to November 2023, indicating a stable labor market.
  • Nonfarm job growth: Decreased from the 170 jobs added in November 2023, reflecting a downward trend.

Future Outlook:

Economists predict cautious optimism for Grand Rapids’ job market in 2024. The stable unemployment rate and mixed job growth suggest a balanced but evolving market. Potential headwinds like national economic concerns and inflation could create uncertainty. Construction, trade, and professional services might offer growth opportunities, while broader factors could impact the overall outlook.

10 Growing Occupations in Grand Rapids, MI:

  1. Registered Nurses
  2. Software Developers and Applications Developers
  3. Customer Service Representatives
  4. Sales Representatives
  5. Truck Drivers
  6. Marketing Specialists
  7. Accountants and Auditors
  8. Construction Laborers
  9. Teachers
  10. Physical Therapist Assistants

10 Companies Hiring Now in Grand Rapids, MI:

  1. Spectrum Health
  2. Meijer
  3. Spectrum Health West Michigan
  4. Peterbilt of Grand Rapids
  5. DTE Energy
  6. Haworth
  7. SpartanNash
  8. Priority Health
  9. Consumers Energy
  10. Steelcase