You might not notice it, but a local group says more people are starting to get jobs in the Battle Creek area, and in many areas around the state.  

Photo by Alex Wong, Getty Images

The W.E. Upjohn Institute, for employment research has been crunching numbers for the first three months of this year, and the results are encouraging:

Growth in Nearly Every Industry

 During the first quarter of 2015, employment in the five metropolitan areas of west Michigan increased by 1.3 percent, a gain of nearly 12,000 jobs. Employment gains were reported in the area’s goods-producing and private service–providing sectors. However, government employment dipped by 0.1 percent during the quarter.

The quarter’s employment gains pushed down the region’s composite unemployment rate to 4.4 percent from 4.8 percent during the previous quarter.

West Michigan’s economic indicators were mixed during the first quarter of 2015, suggesting that employment conditions will be soft in the coming months. Initial claims for unemployment insurance fell by 1.9 percent; and the annual rate of new residential units put under contract for construction fell by 25.7 percent.

BATTLE CREEK MSA—Strong Gains in the First Quarter

Total employment in Calhoun County increased by 1.3 percent in the first quarter of 2015. Goods-producing employment grew by 1.4 percent and private service–providing employment grew by 1.8 percent. Government employment fell by 0.4 percent. The area’s unemployment rate fell to 5.2 percent because of a strong gain in the number of employed county residents. The area’s economic indicators were positive during the quarter, suggesting that employment will improve in the coming months.

Employment in the area’s goods-producing sector grew by 1.8 percent during the first quarter of 2015, due to a 1.7 percent gain in durable manufacturing employment and 1.8 percent gain in construction employment. Employment in the area’s private service–providing sector grew by 1.8 percent during the quarter with gains seen across nearly all of the various service industries. Employment in the government sector was down 0.4 percent during the quarter.

The area’s two economic indicators were positive during the quarter, suggesting that employment conditions may continue improve in the second quarter. The rate of new dwelling units put under contract for construction increased by 5.3 percent and the number of initial claims for unemployment insurance fell by 7.4 percent.