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Muskegon County’s 2024 economic forecast indicates positive turn

Downtown Muskegon photo
Downtown Muskegon, Michigan

Muskegon Lake cleanup and innovative policies shifting working age demographics.

“Muskegon has always sort of been like the Lions.”

As economist Dr. Paul Isely explains it, a county with a great endowment of resources but, like the Detroit Lions football organization, has had trouble piecing it together…until now.

“The activity of the leadership within Muskegon over the last 10 years has started to move things in one direction as opposed to trying to do lots of things.”

In his 2024 Muskegon County Economic Forecast, the associate dean in the Seidman College of Business at Grand Valley State University points out the Muskegon Lake cleanup and innovative policies like helping students go to college, increasing tourism and creating a sense of place in downtown Muskegon has the county turning in a positive direction.

“Muskegon County is prepped to grow faster than trend this year and may grow as fast as what we’re expecting Kent County to grow this year. And we’re starting to see a population shift, a demographic shift, in Muskegon County which will lead to better growth a year or two down the road.”

There’s pressure on a tight housing market. Muskegon’s lower home prices is drawing a net migration from Ottawa County to the south of 700 people a year. Relief on the way, there are several housing developments under construction increasing supply over the next 12 months.

Isely identifies Muskegon Lake’s deep-water port an economic boon as the Great Lakes cruising season continues its growth and makes Muskegon a port of call.

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.