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Michigan Works! Regional Update: Employment and Wages in the Southwest Prosperity Region

The Michigan Center for Data and Analytics (MCDA) recently released 2023 Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics (OEWS) data. Within each release are employment and wage statistics for hundreds of federally defined occupations. While data is not readily available for Michigan Works! areas, each of Michigan’s Prosperity Regions are publicly available. More localized OEWS data is not as comprehensive, as smaller geographies tend to coincide with data suppression. This piece will examine some of the highlights seen in the Southwest Prosperity Region which includes both the Michigan Works! Berrien, Cass, Van Buren and Michigan Works! Southwest areas.

In 2023, the Southwest Prosperity Region had an occupational employment 296,260, or 6.8 percent of the total employment statewide. The region had a median hourly wage of $21.52, which was about $1.00 less than the statewide median hourly wage of $22.57. Of Michigan’s 10 Prosperity Regions, the Southwest region had the fourth largest occupational employment and the fifth highest median hourly wage.

Among occupational groups, Production had the largest share of regional employment, with 13.4 percent. This was followed by occupations within Office and administrative support (10.8 percent) and Food preparation and material moving (9.6 percent). Just one of the 22 occupational groups saw a regional median hourly wage that was substantially greater than the statewide median hourly wage for the group. The region’s Educational instruction and library occupations had a median wage that was $2.47 higher than the statewide median wage ($25.77) for this group.

There were several occupations that were overrepresented in the region compared to the state levels. Some of these occupations included, but were not limited to, Extruding and forming machine setters (42.4 percent of statewide employment), Nuclear engineers (40.0 percent), and Adhesive bonding machine operators and tenders (30.6 percent). Furthermore, 61 out of 500 detailed occupations in the region reported a median hourly wage at least $1.00 greater than the median hourly wage for the occupation statewide.

The Detroit Metro Prosperity Region had the largest share of employment and highest median hourly wage of Michigan’s Prosperity Regions.

2023 Employment and Median Hourly Wage by Prosperity Region

Prosperity Region Employment Share of Statewide Employment Median Hourly Wage
1 - Upper Peninsula 109,960 2.5% $20.88
2 - Northwest 122,430 2.8% $20.62
3 - Northeast 61,130 1.4% $18.62
4 - West Michigan 702,320 16.2% $21.97
5 - East Central Michigan 202,470 4.7% $20.80
6 - East Michigan 243,970 5.6% $20.61
7 - South Central 211,040 4.9% $23.68
8- Southwest 296,260 6.8% $21.52
9 - Southeast Michigan 409,950 9.4% $22.54
10 - Detroit Metro 1,773,870 40.8% $23.73

Source: 2023 Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics, Michigan Center for Data and Analytics