by Cameron Macht
Central Minnesota was the fastest growing region over the last decade, and is projected to lead the state in job growth again in the next ten years. From 2010 to 2020, the 13-county Central Minnesota region is projected to gain more than 50,000 new jobs, an 18.3 percent increase, according to new data from the state’s Labor Market Information Office. This growth is nearly five percentage points faster than the state as a whole.
Almost one-third of the new jobs in Central Minnesota between 2010 and 2020 will be in the education and health services industry. This sector is expected to add 16,580 jobs, a growth rate of almost 40 percent. The trade, transportation and utilities (8,410 jobs), construction (6,040 jobs), and professional and business services (5,340 jobs) industries will also add significant numbers of jobs in the region.
The construction sector is projected to be the fastest growing industry in Central Minnesota, building up more than 50 percent in the next ten years. The addition of 6,000 new jobs will finally make up for the jobs lost during the recent recession – since Central Minnesota lost 4,800 construction jobs from 2006 to 2010. Likewise for manufacturing; the industry is expected to expand by more than 4,000 jobs after significant declines during the recession. The largest numbers of new jobs are expected in the fabricated metal product manufacturing sector, along with steady gains in the food, plastics and rubber products, machinery, furniture and related products, nonmetallic mineral products, and wood products manufacturing sectors.
In terms of specific job titles, the following are expected to expand by the largest percentages in Central Minnesota:
- Veterinary technologists
- Construction helpers
- Personal care aides
- Cement masons and brickmasons
- Marriage and family therapists
- Security and fire alarm systems installers
- Home health aides
- Physical therapist assistants
Despite strengths in different industries, each region’s employment changes will depend on the demand for goods and services, productivity advances, technological innovations, and shifts in business practices. Unfortunately, these are often trends that analysts cannot predict. In the face of uncertainty, researching industries (and occupations) before making a career decision is important.
For more information on job trends visit the Central Minnesota regional career website.