GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — The Right Place, Inc. held an event Thursday to discuss its 2023 economic outlook for the Grand Rapids region.

The regional development organization hosted its 2023 Economic Outlook for the Greater Grand Rapids Region, where presenters said there are no immediate signs of a recession. However, they said that if the region goes into recession, it is because of issues with the labor market.

The greater Grand Rapids region is still climbing out of a deep jobs hole from the COVID-19 pandemic. There is time to get to a productive and healthy market though the only way to open it up is by rethinking job requirements and adding more flexibility, according to presenters.

“Don’t put credential barriers that are not needed, retain older workers, offer pathways for working parents. All of this is part of accepting the labor conditions are not going away anytime soon,” said Jeff Korzenik, chief investment strategist with Fifth Third Bank.

Presenters added that over the last four years, the Grand Rapids metro area had outpaced the state and national average when it comes to population growth. As a result, they suggested increasing the pay scale to be competitive with other larger cities across the country.

More information can be found in the Right Place, Inc.’s State of the Region 2022 Report.