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W. Mich. employers look to recruitment, retention in 2014
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) - Creating jobs and retaining workers--those are the focuses of many employers for 2014.
They're also facing some challenges in the form of government regulation, but employers say there's a lot to be optimistic about.
We're coming off the heels of a year where the greater Grand Rapids area created about 18,000 jobs and saw some significant economic growth, and experts are predicting another impressive year.
There are some challenges ahead though.
While we're only on day 2 of 2014, the economic forecast for the year is looking good.
"I'm optimistic about hiring, and recruitment and retention, I'm optimistic about sales, I think productivity is going to be good," said Maggie McPhee, with The Employers Association.
McPhee says recruitment and retention will be a focus in 2014, with many employers choosing candidates internally.
"They're going to take a look at who do you have in house that has potential, not necessarily had the needed skills right now, but the potential, and then they'll be doing a lot of training to get those people to the level of proficiency that they need to be," McPhee said.
She says that, in turn, will open up jobs for those seeking work this year.
"As long as you have a good work ethic, and you're willing to be at the job and to learn and to grow, I think there's opportunities," she added.
McPhee doesn't expect to see huge pay increases, though. She says the average will likely be in the 2 percent range.
"They're not stagnant, but they're certainly not back up the 4 percent we were seeing for several years," McPhee said.
As for the challenges that lie ahead, government regulation seems to top the list, with employers focused on what health care changes will ultimately mean.
Overall, though, McPhee says there's a lot to be optimistic about.
"I think it's going to be a very good year; it's also an election year, so we'll see," she said.
Overall, the Upjohn Institute is projecting 2.6 percent job growth this year, which is double what it was last year.
They're expecting that growth to be across the board, as well, in everything from the food industry to professional services.