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Central Region

central-minnesota-mapCentral Minnesota is a manufacturing stronghold, with several global manufacturing firms operating there.

The region is especially well known for its expertise in food processing, printing, furniture manufacturing, appliances, machinery and heavy equipment manufacturing.

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Honoring Our Heroes

11/8/2022 9:00:00 AM

Luke Greiner

U.S. military veterans are small in number in comparison to the total population, but make a large impact in our country, state, and region. In Central Minnesota there are an estimated 41,750 military veterans, accounting for just under 6% of the total population. According to Census estimates, there were more than 15,200 veterans in the region's labor market. Veterans are very active in the economy, with nearly 80% of veterans between 18 and 64 years of age participating in the labor force.
After years of decreasing large scale deployments and a tight labor market, veterans in Central Minnesota have started displaying lower unemployment rates, lower even than for nonveterans, at 3.4% versus 3.7%, based on the latest detailed demographic data available from 2020. Unemployment rates have trended even lower since then, reaching historic lows in the summer of 2022.

Although we have fewer veterans in Minnesota compared to states that have one or more military installations, it's important to understand the challenges and achievements our military veterans experience in the economy. Fortunately, there is more substantial and detailed data on the employment of veterans nationally that can be added to local data from the year prior.

Employment Situation of Veterans 2021 Highlights

  • The unemployment rate for all veterans (4.4%) was lower than the rate for nonveterans (5.3%) in 2021, and has been dropping.
  • Unemployment rates for both male and female veterans decreased in 2021. The rate for male veterans was 4.4%, little different from the rate of 4.2% for female veterans.
  • In August 2021, 27% of employed veterans with a service-connected disability worked in the public sector, compared with 21% of veterans with no disability and 13% of nonveterans.

Employment Situation of Central Minnesota Veterans 2020 Highlights

  • Veteran unemployment is lower in Central Minnesota than the rest of the state, at 3.4% in 2020 compared to 3.9% statewide.
  • About 6.5% of veterans in the region are women.
  • By race, over 96.6% of veterans in the region are White, with Two or More Races, Black or African American, and Hispanic or Latino each reporting just over 1.2%.
  • Veterans are more likely than nonveterans to have a high school diploma/GED as their highest level of education, and less likely to have a bachelor's degree (19.3% compared to 24.6%)

The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) has a team dedicated to serving Minnesotan veterans and their needs. Check out the CareerForce Veterans Employment Services page to find your regional contact and how they might help you or a veteran you know. DEED also assists employers hiring veterans.

We can all thank a veteran for answering the call to duty.

For More Information

Contact Luke Greiner at 320-223-6992.

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