Manufacturing

Strong, versatile and innovative, Minnesota's manufacturing sector is the backbone of the state's economy.

From high-tech electronics to high-end food products, our manufacturers produce a wide variety of goods that are known the world over for their high quality.

Manufacturing Impact

It is impossible to overstate the importance of our manufacturing sector. Manufacturers in Minnesota have a rippled effect in the state's economy. According to 2010 data:

  • Manufacturing is the third largest industry in the state with 13 percent of all jobs (292,031 positions).
  • Manufacturing industries paid $16.4 billion in wages in 2010. The average annual wage was $56,328, or 20 percent higher than the average wage for all industries ($46,984).
  • Wages in manufacturing ($16.4 billion) accounted for 16 percent of all wages paid in Minnesota in 2010.
  • Computer and electronic product manufacturers have the largest share of employment in Minnesota (16 percent), followed by food manufacturing (15 percent) and fabricated metal products (13 percent).
  • Each manufacturing job supports another 1.9 jobs elsewhere in the economy through supplier purchases and employee spending. In total, manufacturing accounts for nearly 850,000 jobs or 33 percent of all jobs in Minnesota.

Manufacturing Success

From the small company with few employees to the multinational corporation with thousands of employees worldwide, our manufacturers enjoy a remarkable level of success in regional, national and international levels:

  • Minnesota's manufacturing industries earnings ($21.7 billion) rank 16th nationwide, according to Site Selection (March 2010).
  • About 40 percent of Minnesota's Fortune 500 companies in 2012 operate in manufacturing (3M, General Mills, Medtronic, Land O'Lakes, Mosaic, Hormel Foods, Ecolab, and St. Jude Medical).
  • Minnesota-based Cargill is a manufacturer of food and agricultural products and the largest private company in the country with $119.5 billion in revenue for fiscal year 2011.
  • Minnesota's manufactured exports jumped to $18.4 billion in 2011.
  • Manufacturing companies operating or headquartered in Minnesota have registered some of the largest number of patents in the state in recent years. Between 2007 and 2011, IBM registered 1,717 patents, followed by 3M (1,380 patents) and Medtronic (994 patents).

Educated Workforce

In this competitive economy, Minnesota has proved to be the place to educate and retain workers for manufacturing industries.

  • Minnesota ranks second nationwide in the percentage of the population 25 years and older that has a high school diploma (91.5 percent) and 11th in the proportion of people with a bachelor's degree (31.5 percent).
  • The University of Minnesota's chemical engineering program was ranked third best in the country in 2010 by the U.S. and World News Report.
  • Minnesota ranks fourth for its ability to keep college graduates (66 percent), according to a 2010 report by Forbes.
  • The 360 Manufacturing and Applied Engineering Center of Excellence serves precision manufacturing and engineering workforce needs by developing flexible education and career opportunities.
  • Minnesota is one of the states participating in the National Association of Manufacturers' Dream It- Do It campaign that targets individuals 18 to 26 years old to pursue manufacturing careers.
  • Minnesota's food manufacturing company Hormel Foods is among the top 20 places to work for recent grads, according to 2010 rankings by Experience, Inc.

Compare Minnesota

Select the links below to use our Compare Minnesota data tool to see how we stack-up with other states and how Minneapolis-St. Paul compare with major metropolitan areas in key economic indicators.

Compare Minnesota to other states.

Compare Minneapolis-St. Paul to other major metropolitan areas.