The three counties comprising the Thumb Area all have a work force available to meet your employment needs, along with education facilities and training programs responsive to training personnel on all levels.

Labor Force Availability & Education

Labor Force – 61,271

Each county boasts a vocational technical center for identifying employees and training them to meet the needs of any manufacturing firm. Customized training programs can be coordinated through these centers. Advanced educational opportunities are available from the community colleges located in the region. Major universities are within 30 minutes commuting distance. These institutions provide training programs and also serve as a source of new employment.

Unemployment Rate

Huron County
Unemployment Rate 8.6%
Number actively seeking employment 1353

Tuscola County
Unemployment Rate 10.4%
Number actively seeking employment 2665

Sanilac County
Unemployment Rate 10.3%
Number actively seeking employment 1980


The wages paid in the region are very competitive with those paid in the metropolitan areas. The low level of organized labor is one of the attributes that lead to this characteristic.

Labor Costs - Average Hourly Rates 2012

Assembler: $13.98  in Michigan ($16.15 in US)
Office, General: $14.07 in Michigan ($14.11 in US)
Foreman: $30.39 in Michigan  ($30.40 in US)
Farmworker/ General Laborer: $10.60 in michigan ($9.61 in US)
Janitor: $11.72 in Michigan  ($11.95 in US)
Truck Driver, Light: $15.59 in Michigan ($16.32 in US)
Machine Operator: $19.65 in Michigan  ($20.33 in US)
Quality Control: $17.15 in Michigan ($14.61 in US)
Secretary: $16.13 in Michigan  ($16.20 in US)
Shipping/ Receiving: $16.13 in Michigan  ($16.15 in US)
Tool & Die Maker: $24.60 in Michigan ($23.31 in US)
Welder: $17.67 in Michigan ($18.46 in US)

The Green Thumb region, in partnership with University of Michigan – Flint and I-69 International Trade Corridor has recently published a 2104 Wage & Benefit Survey. For information on purchasing that report, please our contact page.