Modest job growth is being projected for Michigan's Great Southwest by the W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research. The Kalamazoo-based firm projects slow employment growth this summer for the Niles-Benton Harbor Metropolitan Service Agency. During the first quarter of the year, total employment in the area was up by just four-tenths of a percent, equal to 250 jobs, but increases were noted in all sectors and unemployment fell from 8.7% to 7.9%. Leisure and hospitality employment growth was the strongest in the first quarter, with 160 new jobs added. Since the first quarter of last year, leisure and hospitality employment is up by 12% thanks in large part to the new Inn at Harbor Shores. For the six metro areas of West Michigan, jobs were up 1.1% in the first quarter which was a gain of 9,500 jobs.
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