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Manufacturing Fast Facts

The manufacturing sector is the backbone of Minnesota's economy, thanks to its strength, versatility and innovation. It represents one in seven jobs and has the largest total payroll of any business sector.
Manufacturing contributes $37 billion to the state economy and represents 15 percent of the Minnesota’s gross domestic product.
Across the state manufacturing accounts for between 8 percent and 34 percent of total employment, depending upon the region.
Each manufacturing job supports another 1.9 jobs elsewhere in the economy through supplier purchases and employee spending. In all, manufacturing accounts for nearly 850,000 jobs or 33 percent of all jobs in Minnesota.
About 40 percent of Minnesota’s Fortune 500 companies in 2012 operate in manufacturing: 3M, Medtronic, General Mills, Land O’Lakes, Mosaic, Hormel Foods, Ecolab and St. Jude Medical.
Canada is Minnesota’s top manufactured export market at $5.0 billion in sales in 2011, followed by China and Mexico.
Minnesota is a national leader in manufactured medical devices, which contribute significantly to the state’s gross domestic product. The export category that includes medical devices accounted for $1.5 billion in manufactured exports in 2011.
Medical device companies had some of the largest registrations of patents between 2007 and 2011 in Minnesota: Boston Scientific (1,353 from Guidant and Sci-Med Life Systems units), Medtronic (994 patents), and St. Jude Medical (71 patents).
Minnesota has more than 292,000 manufacturing jobs statewide or 13 percent of all private-sector jobs.
Manufacturing pays an average annual wage of $56,328 per employee, eclipsing construction, real estate, and agriculture.
Most manufacturing jobs in Minnesota are concentrated in these products:
  • Computer and electronic products
  • Food manufacturing
  • Fabricated metal products
  • Machinery
Manufacturing has the second-largest payroll of any business sector in the state, providing $16.4 billion in 2010 wages.
Manufacturing exports brought $18.4 billion into the Minnesota economy in 2011.
Minnesota’s top manufactured export is computers and electronics at almost $4 billion, followed by machinery, transportation equipment and miscellaneous (mostly medical devices).
Medical device businesses research, develop and produce everything from catheters and pacemakers to dental instruments, eyeglass lenses and hearing aids.
Renewable energy is another stronghold of the manufacturing sector. We believe that it has the potential for providing great support to Minnesota’s economy in the future.
 

Manufacturing Facts By Region

Northwest Minnesota Manufacturing

Manufacturing is the third largest employment sector in Northwest Minnesota (following health care and social assistance and retail trade).
At 26,470 jobs, it represented 16 percent of all regional jobs and 9 percent of the state’s manufacturing jobs during 2011.
Most manufacturing industries pay higher than other sectors. The average weekly wage in manufacturing was $828 in 2011, compared to $597 for all industries. Wages were highest in transportation equipment manufacturing, while food manufacturing made up the most manufacturing employment in the region.

Northeast Minnesota Manufacturing

The manufacturing sector is a key employer in Northeast Minnesota. With 8,940 jobs, it represents 8 percent of all employment in Northeast Minnesota and 3 percent of all manufacturing jobs in Minnesota.
With an average weekly wage of $1,032, jobs in the industry pay substantially higher than the $712 average weekly wage for all industries combined in the region.
Wages are highest in the food, paper, chemical, and transportation manufacturing, non-metallic subsectors.

Central Minnesota Manufacturing

After suffering job losses during the recession, the manufacturing sector made a strong recovery in Central Minnesota in the last year.
Regional manufacturers added 1,215 net new covered jobs from 2010 to 2011, accounting for almost one-third of the region’s recent job recovery. In fact, manufacturing (up 3.4 percent) grew twice as fast as the total of all industries (up 1.6 percent) over the last year.
With 36,785 covered jobs at 1,172 business establishments, manufacturing represented 14.8 percent of all regional jobs in 2011, ranking second behind health care and social assistance (45,356 jobs) in total employment.
Regional manufacturers paid out just under $1.7 billion in total payroll to employees in 2011, providing average annual wages of $45,812. That was $10,000 higher than the average for all industries ($35,464).

Southwest and South Central Minnesota Manufacturing

Manufacturing is the largest employing industry in Southwest and South Central Minnesota.
The sector made a strong recovery in Southwest Minnesota in the last year, following recession related job losses.
Regional manufacturers added 925 net new covered jobs from 2010 to 2011, accounting for just over two-thirds of the region’s recent job recovery.
In fact, manufacturing (up 3 percent) grew three times as fast as the total of all industries (up 0.8 percent) over the last year.
With 31,329 covered jobs at 621 business establishments, manufacturing represented 18.2 percent of all regional jobs in 2011, making it the largest employing industry in the region, just ahead of health care and social assistance (30,051 jobs).
Regional manufacturers paid out just over $1.3 billion in total payroll to employees in 2011, providing average annual wages of $41,808. That was over $8,000 higher than the average for all industries ($33,540).

Southeast Minnesota Manufacturing

Manufacturing is the second-largest employment sector in Southeast Minnesota, following health care and social assistance.
At 36,201 jobs, it represented 16 percent of all regional jobs and 12 percent of the state’s manufacturing jobs in 2011.
Most manufacturing industries pay higher than average wages. At $989, the average weekly wage across all manufacturing industries was 22.5 percent higher than the average weekly wage of all occupations within southeast Minnesota.
Wages were highest in computer and electronic product manufacturing, the second largest industry in the region.

Twin Cities Metropolitan Area Manufacturing

Manufacturing is the second-largest employment sector in the Twin Cities region, following health care and social assistance.
With an average of 160,580 jobs, it represented 12 percent of all regional jobs and 53 percent of the state’s manufacturing jobs in 2011.
Most manufacturing industries pay higher than average wages. The average weekly wage in manufacturing was $1,288 in 2011, compared to $1,049 for all industries. Wages were highest in the petroleum and coal products and chemical sectors.

The information provided above comes from Positively Minnesota (Departments of Employment and Economic Development - DEED)