GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — The state of Michigan offered a glimpse at what jobs will be in high demand over the next decade Tuesday.
The state revealed the West Michigan Career Outlook through 2030 at an event at the Grand Rapids Chamber of Commerce and will be releasing career outlook reports for the rest of the state on Aug. 22. The report lists which high-wage jobs will be in high demand through 2030, split up by education level.
The lists offers a variety of careers, from dental assistants and roofers to logisticians and lawyers. The two jobs with the highest wage range are architectural and engineering managers, with a wage range of $51 to $76, and computer and information systems managers, with a wage range of $50 to $77.
Evan Linskey, a research manager with the Michigan Center for Data and Analytics, recommended anyone interested in the high-demand, high-wage careers reach out to West Michigan Works!
Of West Michigan’s top occupations, 31 require a bachelor’s degree or higher and 19 require more than a high school diploma, Linskey said during his presentation of the data Tuesday. He said 12 are professional trades and five are in STEM.
“The thing that really hits me when we look at our career outlook is the jobs of the future are going to require some kind of post-secondary education,” Susan Corbin, the director for the Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity, told News 8. “They’re going to require a strong skill certificate or a two-year community college degree or a four-year degree. So, in Michigan, we need to stay strongly focused on that.”
She pointed to Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s 60 by 30 goal, a goal to have 60% of the population with post-secondary education by 2030.
“The economic outlook and the employment outlook for West Michigan as well across the state is going to require a lot of high quality education,” Martin Ackley, spokesperson for the Michigan Department of Education, told News 8. “… It’s very promising that the state is investing so much into education to help create and lay the foundation for the careers of the future.”
The state of Michigan is expected to add around 375,000 jobs between 2020 to 2030, which is a growth of about about 8.8%. In West Michigan, that growth is expected to be about 9.7%.
Currently, Michigan’s economy is relying on immigration, Linskey said. Only seven of Michigan’s 83 counties had more births than deaths between 2021 and 2022. Five of those counties are in West Michigan: Branch, Ionia, Kalamazoo, Kent and Ottawa counties.
The state said the number of women in the labor force dropped by 4.7%, or by about 108,200, from the pre-pandemic three-month average to the April to June 2023 average. For men, the number has increased by 7.3%, or by around 179,100.
Corbin said the state needs to “be looking at all of the work that we do with an equity lens.”
“We need to demonstrate that Michigan is a welcoming place,” she said. “For people across the country, for people around the world, we want people to know that if they come to Michigan, they can ‘Make it in Michigan.'”
Corbin said there are currently more than 125,000 people in the Michigan Reconnect program, and the largest group of people in the program is Black women.
She added the state should “make sure everybody in our LGBTQ community understands that they are now protected under Michigan state law like any citizen of our state. We also need for women to understand that if they come to Michigan, they have freedoms to make choices about their health care.”
Michigan’s unemployment rate lines up with the nationwide rate, 3.6% for both.
Based on data from May 2022, West Michigan has a median wage of $20.09, the fifth highest in the state out of 10 regions. The highest in the state is $23.26 in the metro Detroit region, while the lowest is $18.14 in the northeast region.