October is Manufacturing Month! In recognition of this essential industry, here are four things to know about manufacturing in Minnesota.
1. Manufacturing employment varies across Minnesota’s regions.
Manufacturing is the third largest industry employer in Minnesota, accounting for 11 percent of all jobs in the state. Employment in manufacturing ranges from 6% of jobs in the Northland region to 20% of jobs in the Southwest. It is the second largest industry employer in the Northwest, Southern, Southwest, and West Central regions.
Of Minnesota’s 87 counties, there are 24 where at least one in five jobs is in manufacturing. Many of these counties are located in the Southern and Southwest regions of the state.
2. Manufacturing is the state’s largest contributor to economic output.
Gross domestic product (GDP) is the estimated market value of all the goods and services produced in a specific region. In 2021, manufacturing was responsible for $49.2 billion in goods and services produced in the state, making the industry the largest contributor to our state GDP.
3. Manufacturing employment has held steady but is expected to decline.
Stories about the decline of manufacturing jobs are common. And indeed, manufacturing has declined from 15% of all jobs in the state in 2000 to 11% today. The industry may experience a slight numeric loss of jobs by 2030, but manufacturing jobs should still comprise about 10% of jobs in the state by then.
4. Skilled manufacturing employment is in demand.
Jobs in modern manufacturing increasingly require training and advanced skills. The STEM section of Minnesota Compass provides some insight into credentialing, employment, and job projections in STEM production and trade. By 2028, we expect to see growth of more than 100 jobs in 18 STEM production and trade occupations in manufacturing, as outlined in the table below.
Interested in a career in manufacturing? A Statewide Tour of Manufacturing is happening all throughout the month of October. Tours of manufacturers across the state are free, giving attendees the chance to see how STEM skills are put into practice every day in modern manufacturing.
Learn more about apprenticeship! Apprenticeship Minnesota, a program of the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry, has resources to help you learn more about this tried-and-true model for career opportunities and growth. They also maintain a directory of Registered Apprenticeship Employer and Training Programs throughout the state.
Curious to learn from and network with other local manufacturers? There are a variety of professional organizations committed to the growth and success of manufacturing, serving various industries and regions of the state. These include:
- Arrowhead Manufacturers & Fabricators Association (serving northeastern Minnesota)
- Central Minnesota Manufacturers Association (serving the greater St. Cloud region)
- Minnesota Precision Manufacturing Association (serving precision manufacturing in Minnesota)
- Tri-State Manufacturers Association (serving west central Minnesota)
State, regional, and local chambers of commerce are also committed to strengthening the manufacturing industry.