10/22/2015 2:23:55 PM
To get an idea of just what an economic staple food manufacturing is in southwest Minnesota, chew on this:
While the regional economy declined 3.8 percent during the recession from 2007 to 2010, food manufacturing actually gained 466 net new jobs, an increase of 4.7 percent.
How's that for tasty?
With 10,140 jobs at 108 establishments, food production leads the manufacturing industry's employment and growth in the region. Though southwest Minnesota has just 6.4 percent of total state employment across all sectors, it is home to 22.2 percent of the state's food manufacturing employment.
In fact, food manufacturing has expanded more than 2 percent during the past decade -- and generated more than 100 new jobs in the past year alone. Needless to say, this diet heavy in food processing has contributed greatly to the health of the regional economy.
The largest and fastest-growing subsector in the region is animal slaughtering and processing, which had 5,025 jobs after adding nearly 600 jobs in the past decade. Southwest Minnesota has nearly one-third of the state's total employment in that niche.
Likewise, the southwest region also has about one-third of the state's jobs in grain and oilseed milling, which includes corn milling, soybean processing, and cereal manufacturing, and more than one-third of statewide employment in dairy product manufacturing, which includes milk, butter, cheese and ice cream manufacturing.
In food manufacturing, where wages are about $7,000 higher than the total of all industries, the highest-paying sectors are animal food manufacturing and grain and oilseed manufacturing. Both pay more than $60,000 per year on average. Only bakeries and tortilla manufacturing industries have lower wages than the total of all industries.
For job seekers looking for new opportunities in a growing, high-paying field, the food manufacturing industry in southwest Minnesota brings a lot to the table.