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Washington County in 2015

10/3/2016 2:23:55 PM

Tim O'Neill

The seven-county Metro Area is made up of Anoka, Carver, Dakota, Hennepin, Ramsey, Scott and Washington counties. While they are often lumped together to create the Twin Cities Planning Area, each county has its own distinct identity. Using labor market information, these county identities can be analyzed in terms of industry employment, labor force size, population demographics and more. This month we’ll look at Washington County.

Situated in-between the Twin Cities and Wisconsin, Washington County has proven to be one of Minnesota’s fastest-growing counties, in terms of both jobs and people. Interestingly, while Washington County is the fifth-smallest county in Minnesota by total area, it is the fifth- and eighth-largest county in the state by population and total employment, respectively.

As of 2015, Washington County was home to over 5,200 business establishments supplying over 79,000 jobs. Well over half of the county’s total employment is in retail trade, health care and social assistance, accommodation and food services, and manufacturing. Combined, these four industries added more than 1,800 jobs between 2014 and 2015, with growth rates all exceeding four percent (Table 1). Between 2010 and 2015, these four industries added more than 5,700 jobs, or 73 percent of total job gains in the county during that time.

Washington County Employment Statistics, Annual 2015

Washington County stands out from the state and the Metro Area for its extremely high concentration of employment in wood product manufacturing. In fact, employment in this sector is nearly 13 times more concentrated in the county than it is in the United States overall. With about 2,800 wood product manufacturing jobs offering average annual wages of $64,300, it is definitely one of Washington County’s distinguishing industries.

For More Information

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

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