Career Outlook 2020 highlights projected job growth

Published 8:00 am Thursday, May 14, 2015

Michigan’s career outlook information indicates that efforts to improve our business climate are continuing to spark economic growth and job creation.

The state is showing positive signs of economic growth, and that is outstanding news for Southwest Michigan families, job providers and job seekers.

We’ve achieved much to build a stronger, more vibrant Michigan. Nearly 400,000 private sector jobs have been created in four years and unemployment has been reduced by more than half, from a high of 14.2 percent in 2009 to 5.6 percent today — the lowest it has been since 2001.

The Career Outlook 2020 numbers have been compiled for 18 Michigan regions by the Department of Technology, Management and Budget (DTMB) Bureau of Labor Market Information and Strategic Initiatives and the Michigan Workforce Development Agency.

According to the outlook for Berrien, Cass and Van Buren counties, the industry with the largest projected job growth is health care, with 1,520 new jobs. Other sectors with large job growth projections in the area include food service with 350 more jobs, engineering and manufacturing with 335, office/clerical with 180 and retail with 175.

This information indicates future job growth and also highlights current advertised job openings in the area.

The largest number of online advertised jobs currently available in the area are for truck/tractor-trailer drivers with 929 jobs openings, industrial and mechanical engineers with 292 and retail salespersons with 223.

“From Southwest Michigan First’s consultations with existing employers, we surmise that the numbers of open positions might even be higher for some occupations, like mechanical engineers, if employers could fill their current employment gaps,” said Ron Kitchens, CEO of Southwest Michigan First.

The Career Outlook 2020 pamphlet can be a tremendous resource for those looking for work, people considering a career change and especially Michigan students contemplating a career path to pursue. That is why I am working on legislation to ensure that every Michigan high school student receives this information for their area.

Customized information for each region of the state is available online at Click on “Publications” in the left column and then click on “Career Outlook 2020.”


Sen. John Proos, R-St. Joseph, represents Southwest Michigan.