by Rachel Vilsack
The Northwest Minnesota economy is projected to grow by 14.4 percent between 2010 and 2020, according to new data from the state’s Labor Market Information Office. By 2020, it’s estimated that there will be 36,240 new jobs across the region’s industry sectors, with even more jobs available as people retire or otherwise leave their professions.
One out of three new jobs in Northeast Minnesota between 2010 and 2020 will be in the education and health services industry. This sector is expected to add 10,990 jobs, a growth rate of 31 percent. The trade, transportation and utilities (5,490 jobs) and manufacturing (4,240 jobs) industries will also add significant numbers of jobs to the Northwest Minnesota region.
Growth in the manufacturing industry will be stronger than average, with several sectors projected to expand significantly, including fabricated metal product (35 percent), primary metal (27 percent), and wood product (26 percent) manufacturing.
In terms of occupations, some of the fastest-growing and highest-paying professions in Northwest Minnesota are projected to include:
- Heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers
- Registered nurses
- Licensed practical nurses
- Team Assemblers
- Operating engineers and other construction equipment operators
- Accountants and auditors
- Assemblers and fabricators
Remember that employment changes depend on the demand for goods and services, productivity advances, technological innovations, and shifts in business practices. These are often trends that analysts cannot predict. Researching industries (and occupations) before making a career decision is important.
To learn more about current occupations in demand, training opportunities, and local employers in Northwest Minnesota, visit regional career pages covering the Headwaters (Bemidji), North Central (Brainerd, Little Falls and Wadena), Northwest (Thief River Falls and Crookston) and West Central (Alexandria, Detroit Lakes, Fergus Falls, and Moorhead).