When the United States was a largely agrarian economy, the Great Lakes provided irrigation and transportation and helped the region to become a central food source. In the industrial age, the lakes provided the large amounts of water needed for manufacturing. But what about now? According to the Michigan Sea Grant, 1.5 million jobs are still directly connected to the Lakes. In Michigan it's an estimated 23 percent of the payroll. Explore more below.
Data provided by: Vaccaro, L. E. and J. Read. 2011. Vital to our Nation’s Economy: Great Lakes Jobs 2011 Report [MICHU-11-203] Ann Arbor, MI: Michigan Sea Grant. For more information or to explore the methods behind the data visit Michigan Sea Grant.