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What We Make Overview

Manufacturing is at the heart of Minnesota’s vital economy. This diverse, technology-driven sector:

  • Contributes over $52.7 billion a year to the state’s economy (2018)
  • Accounts for the second-largest share (14%) of the state’s gross domestic product (GDP)
  • Employs 322,000 workers
  • Has 8,488 manufacturers making a wide range of products

This sector is growing. In fact, Minnesota’s manufacturing employment has been among the 15 fastest-growing in the nation, rising 11% between 2010 and 2018, according to Emsi.

Minnesota has strength in a broad range of industries. Among our most robust manufacturing clusters are:

  • Food production
  • Computer and electronics
  • Fabricated metal
  • Machinery
  • Medical devices

Source: Labor and Market Information, DEED

Headquartered in Minnesota are 17 Fortune 500 companies as well as Cargill, the nation’s largest privately held company.

Close to half of Minnesota’s Fortune 500 companies are involved in manufacturing, including 3M, CHS, General Mills, Land O’Lakes, Ecolab, Mosaic, Hormel Foods and Polaris.

Top Manufacturers

Among the top manufacturers headquartered or with major operations in the state are:

  • Cargill
  • 3M
  • Medtronic
  • General Mills
  • Land O’Lakes
  • Ecolab
  • Mosaic
  • Hormel Foods
  • Polaris
  • Fastenal
  • Pentair
  • H.B. Fuller
  • Donaldson Co.
  • Toro

(Companies with more than $500 million in revenues.)

Source: ReferenceUSA

Exports Are Growing

The state exported $21 billion in manufactured products in 2018, representing a gain of 12% since 2017. Companies sent more than 1,000 different types of products to more than 200 countries worldwide. Since the recession in 2009, exports of manufactured products have grown 21% (adjusted for inflation).

The state’s top export in 2018 was optics/medical products, with:

  • sales of $4.5 billion
  • up 19% from the previous year

Other top manufactured exports were:

  • Machinery
  • Electrical equipment
  • Plastics
  • Vehicles
  • Food by-products
  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Ores, slag, ash
  • Aircraft and spacecraft
  • Meat

Other Countries Invest in Minnesota

More than 350 foreign-owned businesses – or about 40% of about 900 foreign-owned businesses in Minnesota – operate in manufacturing industries. They employ more than 42,000 people in the state and have invested almost $8 billion in plant, property and equipment in Minnesota.

For More Information

Review our Manufacturing Fact Sheet, Packaging Industry Fact Sheet and Fabricated Metal Manufacturing Industry Fact Sheet.

Contact us to find out more about manufacturing in Minnesota.

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