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Metro Spotlight: Manufacturing Opportunities in the Twin Cities

10/13/2016 2:23:55 PM

Tim O'Neill

There's no denying that manufacturing plays a major role in the Twin Cities' economy. Despite employment losses during the Great Recession, this sector continues to employ thousands of workers with excellent wages. Growth of manufacturing jobs between 2014 and 2015 – with over 3,100 jobs added to the Twin Cities' economy – outpaced 12 other major industry sectors.

Certain manufacturing sub-sectors are highly concentrated in the region. At the top is computer and electronic product manufacturing. With nearly 35,900 jobs in the Twin Cities, this sub-sector accounts for over 78 percent of the state’s computer and electronic manufacturing employment. It has also shown signs of renewed strength, gaining nearly 700 jobs between 2014 and 2015. Workers in this sub-sector enjoy average annual wages of over $102,000.

Other highly concentrated manufacturing sub-sectors in the Twin Cities include fabricated metal product manufacturing, miscellaneous manufacturing, machinery manufacturing, and printing and related support activities. All of these sub-sectors, including computer and electronic product manufacturing, have significantly higher shares of employment in the Twin Cities than they do in the United States overall, making them distinguishing industries for the region.

With thousands of jobs across multiple sub-sectors, healthy employment growth in recent years, and higher-than-average weekly wages, manufacturing in the Twin Cities deserves a close look by anyone seeking valued work. This is especially true as manufacturing employers face an aging workforce.

Just within the past five years, between the third quarters of 2010 and 2015, the number of people working in manufacturing between the ages of 55 and 64 increased by 37 percent. Further, those 65 years of age and older increased by 54 percent. These increases came as those manufacturing workers between the ages of 35 and 54 decreased by 4 percent. With these shifts in the workforce, employers are looking for manufacturing employees today.

To find out more about manufacturing jobs that are in high demand, visit the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development’s (DEED) Occupations in Demand Tool. Labor market information and resource links can also be found at DEED's Career and Education Explorer Tool.

For More Information

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

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