Agriculture is the economic base for the Merced area. The region includes three very large food processing facilities, Foster Farms, Hilmar Cheese and Morningstar Packaging. The prominent E & J Gallo winery is also situated in the region. The addition of the University of California, Merced is expected to stimulate research and technology in the area. The university has already become a significant factor for the economy.
The manufacturing sector and related businesses provide about 12% of the jobs in the Merced region. The top 25 private sector companies employ more than 70% of the Greater Merced's manufacturing workforce. Agriculture, healthcare, education, construction, the government and social assistance are significant sectors for employment.
Occupations in Merced that are primarily filled by college graduates are teachers, wholesale and manufacturing sales representatives, education administrators, accountants and auditors, social and human service assistants and financial managers. Some of the occupations which are more common in Merced than most cities in the nation are agricultural equipment operators, graders and sorters of agricultural products, farm workers and laborers, crop, nursery and greenhouse; meat poultry and fish cutters and trimmers; farm equipment mechanics and first-line supervisors/managers of farming, fishing and forestry workers.
Noteworthy data regarding Merced: In 2007 the estimated median household income was $31,726. The cost of living index in 2008 was at 104.2. The country's average is 100. About 13.6% of the population over the age of 25 have a bachelor's degree or higher.
The WorkNet Merced County is a collection of job training and recruitment agencies which includes the Merced County Private Industry Training Department, Merced College and the Employment Development Department. These agencies work together to meet the needs of employers. The organization offers customized training, recruiting programs, financial incentives and other types of assistance.
The major employers in Merced are shown below:
- Mercy Medical Hospital - Hospitals
- UC Merced - Education
- Bianchi & Sons - Fruits & Vegetables - Growers & Shippers
- Malibu Boats LLC - Boats manufacturer
- Man-Siak Mak Inc - Physicians & surgeons
- Quebecor World - Printers (MFRS)
- Walmart - Department Stores
- Weaver Union School District - Education
- Werner Co - Ladders (WHLS)
- Yosemite Wholesale Inc - Grocers - Retail
Companies in Merced may receive assistance from Business organizations such as:
The Merced Sun-Star provides up-to-date information about the business activities in the Merced area.