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Hardworking and productive. Companies relocating or expanding to Merced have always enjoyed a high applicant to job opening ratio. Fully 72% of Merced residents commute elsewhere for work, indicating high demand for local jobs.

  • City Labor Force: 33,400

  • County Labor Force: 114,600

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Employment Snapshot

2017 Q1 (PDF)

Commute Time

Traditional Workforce

Merced and surrounding areas provide an abundant and productive labor force, including skilled and unskilled workers, at very reasonable wage rates. True to the area’s agricultural roots, these workers tend to be hard working and loyal, resulting in low turnover rates for local employers.

Educated Workforce

New to Merced is a rapidly increasing number of students at UC Merced— approximately 9,000 in 2021. University of California attracts the top tier of high school graduates, and the Merced campus will see expansion of its Master's and Doctorate programs as the university continues to grow.

Labor Force Overview

Source: California Employment Development Department, LMID, Current Month Labor Force and Unemployment, December 2021 (March 2022).

Commute Times

Source: U.S. Census Bureau, ACS 2019-2024 S0801: Commuting Characteristics (March 2022).

Educational Attainment

Educational Attainment

Source: U.S. Census Bureau, ACS 2019-2024, Table S1501: Educational Attainment (March 2022).

Reduce Hiring and Training Costs


Businesses locating in Merced can reduce the costs of recruiting, screening and training employees by taking advantage of several available programs through WorkNet of Merced County. Read more (or ask the Office of Economic Development for assistance) 

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  1. U.S. Census Bureau,, 2019 data (Commuting data, March 2022).

  2. UC Merced Fast Facts, 2020-2021 (March 2022)

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