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Central Minnesota manufacturers not only have ample job opportunities, they pay well, too. // By Luke Greiner


anufacturing is the second largest industry in Central Minnesota, behind health care and social assistance. With 41,789 jobs at 1,564 firms in 2017, manufacturing accounts for 15.2 percent of all employment in the region. That is more concentrated than in the state as a whole, where 11.2 percent of total jobs are in manufacturing. From 2016 to 2017, manufacturers in Central Minnesota added 492 new jobs, a 1.2 percent increase. While the region experienced broad gains across the different manufacturing sectors, five of the 18 manufacturing subsectors lost jobs from 2016-2017. At a more detailed level, food manufacturing and fabricated metal product manufacturing are the two largest sectors in the region, with 8,452 and 7,120 jobs in 2017, respectively.

Central Minnesota had 9.6 percent of total jobs in the state, but 13 percent of manufacturing jobs and about 17 percent of statewide jobs in those two manufacturing sectors. Other areas of strength in the region are furniture and related product manufacturing – which includes kitchen cabinets; transportation equipment manufacturing; paper manufacturing; nonmetallic mineral product manufacturing – which includes granite countertops; and textile product mills; all of which are at least twice as concentrated in Central Minnesota as the rest of the state. Where’s the Money? Typical jobs in manufacturing range from team assemblers and sales representatives, to accounting clerks and marketing managers.

Looking at the 20 most common occupations at Central Minnesota manufacturers provides some insight into the types of opportunity the industry offers. Although the median hourly wage for all occupations is $2.14 less in Central Minnesota compared to the statewide median, 14 of the 20 most common production occupations have higher median hourly wages than the state. With 4,760 jobs in the region, assemblers represent the largest occupation in manufacturing. Although median wages are $15.80 per hour, 75 percent of team assembly jobs pay over $19.32 per hour. Welders and machinists are also a large share of manufacturing jobs, each providing over 2,100 jobs to the region. Providing a clear vision of what career progression looks like can be a struggle in some industries, luckily

Did You Know?

1 The occupation expected to have the largest number of openings in Minnesota is food prep and serving

occupations (100,030 openings between 2014-2024) 2 Minnesota’s most in-demand occupation is retail salespersons 3 Only 31% of full-time job openings in Minnesota require a bachelor’s degree or higher (26% bachelors, 5% advanced degree; 2nd Qtr. 2017)

S E P T E M B E R / O C T O B E R 2 0 1 8 //


Profile for St. Cloud Area Chamber of Commerce

September/October 2018  

St. Cloud Area Chamber of Commerce Business Central Magazine

September/October 2018  

St. Cloud Area Chamber of Commerce Business Central Magazine