Merced has an abundant and productive labor force. The Merced labor force has grown by 19 percent, 85,200 to 105,200, from 2000 to 2008. Companies relocating or expanding to Merced have always enjoyed a high applicant to job opening ration. In one case over 3,000 applications were received for a new business hiring 40 positions. Merced is well known for assisting companies with their staffing needs.