by Rachel Vilsack

This week we celebrate Minnesota Manufacturers Week. Just how important is this industry to Minnesota? Consider this:

weldingMinnesota is a manufacturing powerhouse.

  • Minnesota is home to several Fortune 500 manufacturing companies: 3M, Medtronic, General Mills, Land O’Lakes, Mosaic, Hormel Foods, Ecolab and St. Jude Medical.
  • Minnesota is also internationally known for producing medical devices such as pacemakers, heart valves, and bypass systems. Minnesota’s medical device manufacturing industry ranks second nationwide and first in the Midwest with more than 29,200 workers in 2011.
  • Manufacturing exports brought $20.6 billion into the Minnesota economy in 2012.

You’ll find manufacturing jobs here in Minnesota.  

  • With 305,600 jobs statewide, manufacturing is the second-largest employing industry in Minnesota, accounting for 13 percent of private sector jobs.
  • Across the state, manufacturing accounts for between eight percent (in Northeast Minnesota) to 22 percent (in Southwest Minnesota) of private employment, depending on the region.
  • Manufacturing employment grew by 4.6 percent between 2010 and 2012 in Minnesota, and job growth was particularly strong in rural Minnesota (pdf). The number of jobs grew in nearly all manufacturing sectors with the strongest statewide growth in fabricated metal products, machinery and electrical equipment manufacturing.

Manufacturing is big business.

  • Manufacturing pays above-average wages and has the second-largest payroll of any business sector in the state, providing almost $18.0 billion in 2012 wages.
  • Manufacturing contributes $40 billion to the state’s economy and represents 15 percent of the Minnesota gross domestic product.
  • Each manufacturing job supports about two other jobs elsewhere in the economy through supplier purchases and employee spending. In all, manufacturing accounts for nearly 920,000 jobs, or 35 percent of all jobs in Minnesota.