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Local manufacturing economy continued cooling trend into October

External Shot of the Seidman Center on GVSU's downtown campus
Grand Valley State University

Supply Management Research Survey indicates workforce supply catching up with demand.

The Federal Reserve’s raising interest rates to rein in inflation paired with the United Auto Workers strike have contributed to West Michigan’s economic deceleration.

“For October, our local unemployment index posted the first significantly negative reading we've had since the pandemic. And although some of the softness may relate to the UAW strike, which is of course now over, there is nonetheless plenty of evidence that the West Michigan economy is in fact slowing.”

Brian G. Long is director of Supply Management Research in the Seidman College of Business at Grand Valley State University.

“Now as evidence that the West Michigan economy is slowing, only 11% of the firms in this month's survey reported adding staff while 21% reported staff reductions. So, after many, many months, the supply of people has apparently caught up with demand.”

Long explains the October survey indicates a downward trend in employment and new orders.

Long doesn’t foresee an economic collapse triggering a recession. However, he is monitoring geo-political events that could create stronger economic headwinds.

Patrick joined WGVU Public Media in December, 2008 after eight years of investigative reporting at Grand Rapids' WOOD-TV8 and three years at WYTV News Channel 33 in Youngstown, Ohio. As News and Public Affairs Director, Patrick manages our daily radio news operation and public interest television programming. An award-winning reporter, Patrick has won multiple Michigan Associated Press Best Reporter/Anchor awards and is a three-time Academy of Television Arts & Sciences EMMY Award winner with 14 nominations.