by Brent Pearson
According to new data from the state’s Labor Market Information Office, 10 of 11 employment sectors are projected to experience job growth in the 23 counties in southwest Minnesota between 2010 and 2020. In all, employment is expected to increase by 10 percent, adding 21,000 new jobs to the southwest economy. By 2020, it’s estimated that employment will increase to 227,716 jobs, with education and health services leading the way.
Among employment sectors, education and health services is projected to add 8,260 new jobs from 2010 to 2020. This far outpaces the next highest employment gains in the trade, transportation and utilities sector (3,240 jobs), manufacturing (2,160 jobs) and construction (2,130 jobs). Professional and business services rounds out the top five highest-growth industries with 1,960 projected new jobs from 2010 to 2020.
Among the fastest-growing employment sectors, construction is at the top with an anticipated 31.6 percent growth rate. Education and health services is expected to grow by 30 percent, with fastest job growth in home health care services (99 percent) and community care facilities for the elderly (79 percent). Additionally, professional and business services is projected to grow by 20 percent, led by gains in investigation and security services (94 percent) and office administrative services (52 percent).
Manufacturing is projected to add over 2,100 jobs with a 7.1 percent increase. Nearly 900 of those jobs are expected to be in machinery manufacturing (25 percent increase) and nearly 800 are expected to be in manufacturing of agricultural construction and mining machinery (33 percent increase).
The fastest-growing occupations in Southwest Minnesota are:
- Home health aides
- Veterinary technologists and technicians
- Personal care aides
- Carpenter helpers
- Tool grinders, filers, and sharpeners
- Physical therapist assistants
- Heating, air conditioning and refrigeration mechanics
- Physical therapists
- Aircraft mechanics and service technicians
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.
Brent Pearson is a regional analyst for the Labor Market Information Office at the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development.