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2013 Northwest Lower Michigan Wage Survey Available Online


The partners in this study initiated wage survey research in order to provide cost effective, reliable salary data for businesses located in the Northwest Lower Peninsula region of Michigan. Compensation data for Michigan provided by Compdata Surveys was viewed as a model for this type of research; however, for most companies in this region, this type of data is cost prohibitive. Therefore the partners agreed to share in the cost of completing a wage survey of nearly 3,800 companies across 10 counties including: Antrim, Benzie, Charlevoix, Emmet, Grand Traverse, Kalkaska, Leelanau, Manistee, Missaukee and Wexford counties.

The survey was conducted by Northwestern Michigan College and other collaborators including the Traverse City Area Chamber of Commerce, the Northwest Michigan Council of Governments, and the Traverse Area Human Resources Association. The goal was to create a local data base of reliable wage and salary information for area businesses and employers that’s more reflective of the local labor market than state and national wage information.

“For years Northern Michigan businesses have often encountered difficulty setting wage and salary levels because of limited labor market information,” said Laura Galbraith, vice president of administration for the Traverse City Area Chamber of Commerce. “This information should help employers by providing accurate local wage data to assist businesses in determining appropriate pay rates.”

Results are based on responses from 240 surveys which included wage data on 406 job titles across 22 different job families. The data was kept anonymous and confidential.

About the survey participation:

60 percent of the responses were from businesses in Grand Traverse County, while 11 percent were from Antrim County and 8 percent from Charlevoix.

36 percent of the responding businesses employ nine or fewer workers, while 32 percent had 10 to 50 employees and 12 percent had 51 to 100 employees. Companies with more than 100 employees represented 20 percent of the survey responses. More than 92 percent of responses were from businesses with non-union workers.

21 percent of the survey responses came from manufacturing companies, 10 percent were from the service sector and 9 percent each from the healthcare and non-profit sector.


The full 105-page report is available at this link:


Networks Northwest always proves to be a valued resource for our local government planning efforts. No organization does a better job of convening partners, promoting collaboration, and reporting on the data than does Networks Northwest
- Ty Wessell, Leelanau County Commissioner