Manufacturing Keeps on Truckin' in the Metro


by Tim O’Neill ~

Through 2013, the seven-county Twin Cities metro area had 79,133 establishments supplying 1,618,006 jobs. That’s approximately 60% of total employment in the state in all industries.

The manufacturing industry had 4,105 establishments supplying 162,716 jobs in the Twin Cities, comprising about 53% of the 307,159 manufacturing jobs within the state. The average annual wage for the manufacturing industry sector equaled $69,680 in 2013, 17% higher than the industry’s average annual wage for the state as a whole ($59,540).

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Southeast Minnesota Manufacturing Picture Coming into Focus


by Mark Schultz ~

Minnesota Manufacturers Week is an excellent opportunity to bring attention and focus to the manufacturing industry throughout the state, especially in Southeast Minnesota. With 36,634 jobs at 665 firms, manufacturing accounts for 15.6% of total employment in the region. That’s much more concentrated than in the state as a whole, where 11.4 percent of total jobs are in manufacturing.

Following the 2001 recession that affected all industries, manufacturing also saw a job decline in 2002, then remained relatively stable for the next 4 years, while other industries started to grow. During the more severe Great Recession in 2007, all industries including manufacturing saw significant drops all the way through 2010. Since then, the economy has started to see job gains again, although manufacturing has not seen the same level of growth as was seen across all industries.

SEMN Figure 1

Source: DEED Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages (QCEW) data tool

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Manufacture a Career in the Southwest (Minnesota, that is)


by Luke Greiner~

When people think of the jobs that can be found in the manufacturing industry, they typically focus on a relatively short list of only production occupations, such as assemblers or welders.

This makes sense, as nearly 60% of all occupations in manufacturing are classified as “production” jobs in Southwest Minnesota. That means that over 40% (or 16,320 manufacturing occupations) are not. Instead, the manufacturing industry offers a diverse and well compensated mix of occupations.

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Manufacturing: The ‘Comeback Kid’ in Central Minnesota


by Luke Greiner ~

After getting knocked down during the recession, the manufacturing sector has added more jobs to Central Minnesota’s economy than any other industry since 2010 by gaining 3,676 additional jobs. This incredible comeback accounts for almost 30% of total job growth in the region in the last three years. Recent growth is also impressive, with more than one in five new jobs being in manufacturing from 2012 to 2013.

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Northwest Minnesota's 'Brain Drain' vs. 'Rural Renewal'


by Chet Bodin~

Much has been made about the loss to a local economy when young people leave a city, county, or region. This so-called “brain drain” is particularly hard for rural areas separated by distance and culture from the state’s major metropolitan areas. This concept is often based solely on the exodus of people from 15 to 29 years of age, who leave their hometowns or adopted homes for educational opportunities or career prospects unavailable or seldom found where they’re from, or to simply broaden their horizons.

What’s lost in that demographic shift is the counteractive in-migration of workers back into rural regions.  In what’s come to be known as “the rural renewal,” research has identified an increase in population cohorts aged 30 to 49 in most rural Minnesota counties, including in Northwest Minnesota.

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