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.

Using DEED’s Job Vacancy Survey, we can determine the amount and quality of job openings by industry. Manufacturing had 993 openings in the 2nd quarter of 2014, comprising 11.2% of all openings. This makes manufacturing the fourth largest hiring industry in the region behind health care and social assistance, construction, and accommodation and food services.

In addition to the high quantity of jobs, many of the manufacturing openings are also high quality. Manufacturing vacancies are much less likely to be part-time, with only 9% of openings, compared to 35% for all industries. That means that manufacturing actually has the second largest amount of full-time openings, at 903 in the 2nd quarter of 2014. Full-time jobs are critical for many people not only because they typically pay higher wages, but they also offer benefits when provided by the employer.



The median wage offer for full-time manufacturing openings earlier this year was $14.20 per hour, or $29,536 per year with a 40-hour work week. That was nearly $3,000 higher than the median wage offer for the total of all industries. What’s more, the average annual wage for all manufacturing jobs in Central Minnesota was $46,488 in 2013, which was over 25% higher than the average for all industries.

Another factor that can be used to gauge the quality of openings is the amount requiring postsecondary education. Forty percent of manufacturing openings required postsecondary education, 5% more than the average of all occupations. Jobs that require postsecondary education typically pay more than jobs that require a high school diploma or less.

You can find more information about DEED’s Labor Market Information tools at

Did You Know?

October 19-25 is Minnesota Manufacturers Week. Find out more about Minnesota’s manufacturing industries. Or explore the variety of training options and careers related to manufacturing in Minnesota.

 Luke Greiner is the Central & Southwest Regional Analyst for the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development.

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