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Dakota County Economic Update: Employment Growth

9/2/2016 2:23:55 PM

Tim O'Neill

Beginning with Dakota County, the Metro Regional blog will explore industry employment statistics in each of the seven counties in the Twin Cities metro area, using recently updated QCEW annual 2015 data. You can find out more about your local economy with each new installment of employment data in DEED’s Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages (QCEW) tool.

When it comes to employment, Dakota County is a significant player in the metro area and in Minnesota. With 9,425 establishments providing nearly 184,000 jobs, Dakota County ranks as the state’s third largest county as far as jobs, behind Hennepin and Ramsey counties.

Which Dakota County industry sector has the most jobs? Retail trade does, with just under 23,500 jobs. Health care and social assistance follows retail trade, with 21,870 jobs. Manufacturing rounds out the county’s top three employment sectors with about 19,800 jobs. Together, these three sectors account for well over one-third of the county’s total employment.

Zooming in, one of the most highly concentrated industries in Dakota County is insurance carriers and related activities. Employment within this sub-sector is over three and a half times as concentrated in Dakota County as it is nationally. With more than 7,700 jobs, average annual wages near $95,000, and a growth rate of 4.5 percent between 2014 and 2015, insurance carriers and related activities is of high importance to Dakota County’s local labor market.

Other important sectors to Dakota County’s economy (based on total employment and concentration) include social assistance, general merchandise stores, nursing and residential care facilities, publishing industries, merchant wholesalers of durable and nondurable goods, truck transportation, motor vehicle and parts dealers, computer and electronic product manufacturing, and food manufacturing. From this list, it’s clear that Dakota County has a diverse industry base.

Dakota County added over 3,100 jobs between 2014 and 2015, growing by 1.7 percent. Retail trade and construction both added over 800 jobs during that time, making them the largest-growing industries over the year. Altogether, 15 of 20 industries in the county added jobs between 2014 and 2015, with most of them outpacing the rest of the state in employment growth (see Table 1).

Dakota County Employment Statistics, Annual 2015 Sorted by Number of Jobs

For More Information

Contact Tim O'Neill at 651-259-7401.

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