by Tim O'Neill
Exactly two years ago Minnesota Employment Review ran an article titled, “Distinguishing Industries in the Twin Cities.” Back then, and still today, Miscellaneous Manufacturing is one of the Metro Area’s most distinguishing industry sectors.
What makes Miscellaneous Manufacturing so distinguishing in the Metro Area?
|Table 1. Manufacturing Employment in the Metro Area, 2017|
|Industry||Number of Jobs||Share of Jobs||Number of Firms||Total Payroll ($1,000s)||Average Annual Wage|
|Total, All Industries||1,738,403||100.0%||79,646||$109,343,360||$62,920|
|Computer and Electronic Product Manufacturing||35,756||21.1%||328||$3,735,974||$104,468|
|Fabricated Metal Product Manufacturing||24,565||14.5%||804||$1,571,438||$63,960|
|Printing and Related Support Activities||14,155||8.3%||417||$929,636||$65,676|
|Plastics and Rubber Products Manufacturing||9,805||5.8%||192||$599,428||$61,152|
|Wood Product Manufacturing||4,686||2.8%||105||$283,619||$60,528|
|All Other Manufacturing Subsectors||21,680||12.8%||750||$1,461,333||N/A|
|Source: MN DEED Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages (QCEW)|
Now that we've discovered how unique and distinguishing Miscellaneous Manufacturing is in the Metro Area, it's important to know what it includes. According to the Office of Management and Budget's North American Industry Classification System (NAICS), industries in Miscellaneous Manufacturing make a wide range of products that cannot readily be classified in other specific manufacturing subsectors. Processes used by establishments within Miscellaneous Manufacturing also vary significantly. Because of this, industries in this subsector are defined by what is made rather than how it is made.
Establishments in Miscellaneous Manufacturing are organized into two major industries: Medical Equipment and Supplies Manufacturing and Other Miscellaneous Manufacturing. Medical Equipment and Supplies Manufacturing makes up the bulk, 77.5 percent, of the Metro Area's total Miscellaneous Manufacturing employment. As of 2017, 255 Medical Equipment and Supplies Manufacturing establishments supplied 14,421 jobs. With 338 establishments supplying 4,181 jobs, Other Miscellaneous Manufacturing makes up the remaining 22.5 percent of employment in Miscellaneous Manufacturing.
And miscellaneous manufacturing it is. Zooming in on Other Miscellaneous Manufacturing, specific industries include:
Between 2012 and 2017 Medical Equipment and Supplies Manufacturing (3391) grew by 4.8 percent, adding over 660 jobs. Other Miscellaneous Manufacturing (3399) witnessed more robust growth during this period, growing by 23.7 percent – equivalent to just over 800 jobs. Zooming in on Other Miscellaneous Manufacturing, all industries witnessed employment growth in the Metro Area between 2012 and 2017, except for Office Supplies (except Paper) Manufacturing. Growth was especially high in All Other Miscellaneous Manufacturing (316 jobs), Sporting and Athletic Goods Manufacturing (232 jobs), and Sign Manufacturing (190 jobs) (see Table 2).
|Table 2. Miscellaneous Manufacturing Employment in the Metro Area, 2017|
|Industry (NAICS)||Number of Jobs||Share of Jobs||Number of Firms||Average Annual Wage||2012 – 2017 Job Change|
|Total, All Industries||1,738,403||100.0%||79,646||$62,920||147,425||9.3%|
|Miscellaneous Manufacturing (339)||18,602||11.0%||593||$77,324||1,464||8.5%|
|Medical Equipment and Supplies Manufacturing (3391)||14,421||77.5%||255||$83,252||662||4.8%|
|Other Miscellaneous Manufacturing (3399)||4,181||22.5%||338||$56,680||802||23.7%|
|Sign Manufacturing (33995)||1,524||36.5%||91||$59,644||190||14.2%|
|All Other Miscellaneous Manufacturing (33999)||1,403||33.6%||167||$53,820||316||29.1%|
|Sporting and Athletic Goods Manufacturing (33992)||663||15.9%||27||$55,692||232||53.8%|
|Doll, Toy, and Game Manufacturing (33993)||57||1.4%||8||$75,348||14||32.6%|
|Office Supplies (except Paper) Manufacturing (33994)||57||1.4%||4||$41,288||-10||-14.9%|
|Source: MN DEED Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages (QCEW|
Analyzing employment trends since 2000 reveals a much more interesting picture for Miscellaneous Manufacturing in the Metro Area. For example, between 2002 and 2007 this subsector experienced extremely rapid growth. More specifically, the subsector added just under 4,000 jobs during that five year span of time, expanding by 27.0 percent. This was during a period when total manufacturing employment in the Metro Area contracted by over 11,300 jobs or 5.8 percent.
Over the following five year span of time, between 2007 and 2012, Miscellaneous Manufacturing shed just over 1,600 jobs, contracting by 8.6 percent. This was a steeper decline than the total labor market where employment fell by 2.0 percent, but less severe than all of Manufacturing where employment fell by 11.1 percent. Clearly, Miscellaneous Manufacturing felt the negative impacts of the Great Recession.
As mentioned earlier, employment in Miscellaneous Manufacturing has resumed growth in the past five years of annual employment data. In fact, its growth rate of 8.5 percent between 2012 and 2017 was nearly double that of Manufacturing as a whole (see Figure 1).
While miscellaneous in name and make-up, there is nothing miscellaneous about the importance of Miscellaneous Manufacturing to the Metro Area and the State of Minnesota. As of annual 2017, Minnesota ranked 8th in the nation for having the most employment in Miscellaneous Manufacturing. For reference, Minnesota ranked 14th in the nation for overall manufacturing employment, and 17th in the nation for total employment across all industries. Zooming in, the Minneapolis-St. Paul Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) ranked 3rd in 2017 for having the most Miscellaneous Manufacturing employment out of the nation's 30 largest MSAs. The region fell behind only the Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim MSA and the Chicago-Naperville-Elgin MSA. The Boston-Cambridge-Newton MSA came in 4th, more than 8,000 jobs behind the Minneapolis-St. Paul MSA.1
Miscellaneous Manufacturing consists of a wide range of occupations requiring a wide range of educational attainment. Because of this, there are countless educational and career pathways that individuals can take offer gainful employment within this broad industry sector. For example, one could start out as a team assembler making a median hourly wage of $15.77, work up to become a manufacturing inspector making a median hourly wage of $19.91, and then eventually become a production supervisor making a median hourly wage of $31.01. This career pathway can be started with a high school diploma or equivalent with additional certifications and on-the-job training completed throughout.
Individuals could also aim for higher education in fields such as industrial engineering or biomedical engineering and work in medical device design and implementation. Or become machinists and CNC Operators actually putting such medical devices together. Or become Sale Representatives working in clinics and hospitals to sell such devices. The pathways, whether in Medical Equipment and Supplies Manufacturing, Sign Manufacturing, Sports and Athletic Goods Manufacturing, and other sectors are endless.
|Table 3. Miscellaneous Manufacturing Jobs in the Metro Area|
|Occupation||Number of Jobs||Median Wage||Qtr. 2 2018 Job Vacancies||Demand||Typical Education Required|
|Sales Representatives, Wholesale and Manufacturing||23,720||$33.16||644||High||High school diploma or equivalent|
|Team Assemblers||18,020||$15.77||377||High||High school diploma or equivalent|
|Supervisors of Production Workers||6,320||$31.01||149||High||High school diploma or equivalent|
|Inspectors, Testers, Sorters, Samplers, and Weighers||5,660||$19.91||124||Above Average||High school diploma or equivalent|
|Ophthalmic Laboratory Technicians||670||$14.91||20||Average||High school diploma or equivalent|
|Dental Laboratory Technicians||560||$19.53||N/A||Average||High school diploma or equivalent|
|Medical Appliance Technicians||470||$16.27||N/A||Average||High school diploma or equivalent|
|Machinists||6,880||$25.40||167||High||Postsecondary non-degree award|
|Industrial Engineers||6,450||$43.79||327||High||Bachelor's degree|
|Biomedical Engineers||1,240||$51.86||32||Below Average||Bachelor's degree|
|Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) Occupation-Industry Matrix, DEED Occupational Employment Statistics (OES), DEED Job Vacancy Survey (JVS), DEED Occupations in Demand (OID)|
1Minnesota Export Statistics, Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED): mn.gov/deed/data/export-stats/current-past/.