Measuring progress. Inspiring action.

October 2019

Manufacturing in Minnesota: four things to know

Workers assembling electronicsAllison Liuzzi

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 percent of jobs in the Northland region to 19 percent 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 23 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 2018, manufacturing was responsible for $49.5 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 percent of all jobs in the state in 2000 to 11 percent today. The industry may experience a slight numeric loss of jobs by 2026, but manufacturing jobs should still compose about 10 percent 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 2026, we expect to see growth of more than 100 jobs in six STEM production and trade occupations in manufacturing, as outlined in the table below.

About the author

Allison LiuzziAs Project Director of Minnesota Compass, Allison works with a team of researchers to describe and measure progress on topics related to our shared quality of life in Minnesota. She has particular interest in demographic trends, employment and workforce development, and immigration.


Additional Resources

Interested in a career in manufacturing? The Dream It. Do It. Minnesota 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 regions of the state. These include:

State, regional, and local Chambers of Commerce are also committed to strengthening the manufacturing industry.