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County Snapshots: Carlton, Carver, Cass, and Chippewa

by Bettsy Hjelseth
bettsy.hjelseth@state.mn.us
June 2017

Map showing Carlton county in Minnesota

Past

Carlton County was established in 1857. A major fire swept through the area in 1918, killing 453 people, displacing 11,238 families, and destroying 1,500 square miles of land.1

Future

Carlton County will likely continue to be a major tourist attraction with its abundance of lakes, park trails, state forests, and other tourist sites. However, these jobs tend to be lower paying and part time. Development projects are underway throughout the county and are expected to expand jobs in tourism.2

Economy

2017 Indicators

Carlton County

Minnesota

Population (July 2016)

35,738

5,519,952

Labor Force

17,488

3,019,047

Average Unemployment

5.5%

3.7%

Average Annual Income (2016)

$41,444

$54,288

Cost of Living, Single Person

$26,073

$29,856

Cost of Living, two working parents + two children

$62,387

$81,504

Source: DEED Cost of Living in Minnesota 2017; DEED LAUS April 2017; U.S. Census Bureau, 2016 ACS,
QCEW 2016

 

Industry

Carlton

Top Industries of Employment 2015

Total 2015
Employment

Percent Change
2006-2015

2015 Average Annual Wages

Percent Change
2006-2015

Total, All Industries

13,540

3.0%

$39,838.

27.1%

1

Education and Health Services

3,717

15.4%

$40,200

23.4%

2

Trade, Transportation, and Utilities

2,186

-7.3%

$30,499

15.5%

3

Leisure and Hospitality

1,985

11.9%

$18,414

40.0%

4

Manufacturing

1,481

-15.0%

$63,942

28.1%

Source: DEED Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages 2006-2015

Trends

The expansion of Leisure and Hospitality jobs and the drop in Manufacturing jobs show jobs increasing in a low paying sector and decreasing in a high paying sector. Education and Health Services jobs will be steady as children continue to need education and the population ages. Manufacturing jobs are by far the highest paying jobs in the county, but they will likely continue to decrease as new technology increases, leading to improved productivity.


1 Helberg, Davis. “The 1918 Fire: Cloquet in Ashes.” Esko History, 02 Sept. 2010. http://www.eskohistory.com/gallery/image/762211/3671651.
2 “Land Development.” Carlton County, Minnesota. http://co.carlton.mn.us/land_development



Map showing Carver county in Minnesota

Past

The Minnesota Territorial Legislature organized Carver County in 1855. The county was named after Jonathan Carver, an early explorer. In the mid-19th century, immigrants from Germany and Sweden settled in the area as crop or dairy farmers, but some worked in the brick industry.1

Future

Farming is no longer as prominent in Carver County, as measured by employment, as it once was. Manufacturing has remained the leading industry in terms of employment in the last 15 years. In 2000 the industry had 34.2 percent of the total employment in the county. In 2015 the industry employed 25.6 percent of the total workforce and is expected to remain the largest industry.

Economy

2017 Indicators

Carver County

Minnesota

Population (July 2016)

100,292

5,519,952

Labor Force

55,855

3,019,047

Average Unemployment

3.1%

3.7%

Average Annual Income (2016)

$51,064

$54,288

Cost of Living, Single Person

$32,213

$29,856

Cost of Living, two working parents + two children

$91,402

$81,504

Source: DEED Cost of Living in Minnesota 2017; DEED LAUS April 2017; U.S. Census Bureau, 2016 ACS, QCEW 2016

 

Industry

Carver

Top Industries of Employment 2015

Total 2015 Employment

Percent Change 2006-2015

2015 Average Annual Wages

Percent Change 2006-2015

Total, All Industries

37,509

12.2%

$52,223

29.1%

1

Manufacturing

9,606

-3.7%

$65,645

23.6%

2

Education and Health Services

8,663

34.4%

$45,683

20.2%

3

Trade, Transportation, and Utilities

5,349

10.7%

$42,503

12.9%

4

Professional and Business Services

4,129

30.0%

$82,027

114.3%

Source: DEED Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages 2006-2015


Professional and Business Services grew by far the fastest in Carver County from 2006 to 2015. The fastest growing industries within this category are Advertising and Related Services (319 jobs to 874 jobs) and Management of Companies and Enterprises (217 jobs to 1064 jobs). These industries saw their wages rise from $34,424 to $55068 and $65,000 to $155,532, respectively.


1 “History Topics.” Carver County Historical Society, 2017. http://www.carvercountyhistoricalsociety.org/history_topics.php.


Map showing Cass County in Minnesota

Past

Cass County was created in 1851 and organized in 1897.1 The county was named after Lewis Cass who, with Henry Schoolcroft, discovered the source of the Mississippi River in 1820.2

Future

Tourism is a major industry in Cass County with numerous family resorts, museums, and places to hike, camp, and shop. The county contains Leech Lake, the third largest lake in Minnesota, popular for fishing and water activities. Tourism is expected to remain a significant industry in the future.

Economy

2017 Indicators

Cass County

Minnesota

Population (July 2016)

28,993

5,519,952

Labor Force

14,124

3,019,047

Average Unemployment

6.2%

3.7%

Average Annual Income (2016)

$30,628

$54,288

Cost of Living, Single Person

$27,296

$29,856

Cost of Living, two working parents + two children

$62,366

$81,504

Source: DEED Cost of Living in Minnesota 2017; DEED LAUS April 2017; U.S. Census Bureau, 2016 ACS, QCEW 2016

 

Industry

Cass

Top Industries of Employment 2015

Total 2015
Employment

Percent Change 2006-2015

2015 Average
Annual Wages

Percent Change 2006-2015

Total, All Industries

9,929

2.8%

$29,008

21.2%

1

Leisure and Hospitality

2,598

-7.7%

$19,713

16.8%

2

Education and Health Services

2,156

20.2%

$32,963

14.9%

3

Public Administration

1,815

27.5%

$34,947

3.4%

4

Trade, Transportation, and Utilities

1,236

-13.4%

$24,608

16.7%

Source: DEED Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages 2006-2015

Trends

Public Administration, including the government of the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe, is the fastest growing industry in Cass County. Public Administration wage increases have lagged behind wage increases in other industries over the last decade but the average wage in the industry was still 20 percent higher than the overall county average wage in 2015.


1 Ferguson, Joseph. “Cass County, Minnesota.” eReference Desk, 2017. http://www.ereferencedesk.com/resources/counties/minnesota/cass.html.
2 “Leech Lake History.” Leech Lake Tourism Bureau, 2015. http://www.leechlake.org/history/leech-lake-history.htm.


map showing Chippewa county in Minnesota

Past

Chippewa County was established in 1862 and organized in 1868. It was named after the Chippewa River, a tributary of the Minnesota River.1 Fur trading was the major industry in the area in the early 1800s. 2

Future

Chippewa County employs the most people, about a quarter of their workforce, in the Education and Health Services industry. Manufacturing jobs will likely continue to make up the higher paying jobs in the county, but those jobs will likely continue to decrease.

Economy

2017 Indicators

Chippewa County

Minnesota

Population (July 2016)

12,133

5,519,952

Labor Force

7,020

3,019,047

Average Unemployment

4.7%

3.7%

Average Annual Income (2016)

$37,648

$54,288

Cost of Living, Single Person

$24,881

$29,856

Cost of Living, two working parents + two children

$59,630

$81,504

Source: DEED Cost of Living in Minnesota 2017; DEED LAUS April 2017; U.S. Census Bureau, 2016 ACS, QCEW 2016

 

Industry

Chippewa

Top Industries of Employment 2015

Total 2015
Employment

Percent Change 2006-2015

2015 Average
Annual Wages

Percent Change 2006-2015

Total, All Industries

5,603

-4.7%

$35,773

24.5%

1

Education and Health Services

1,463

3.6%

$34,391

26.7%

2

Manufacturing

1,229

-4.2%

$43,542

16.4%

3

Trade, Transportation, and Utilities

1,047

-9.6%

$32,728

19.4%

4

Leisure and Hospitality

390

-2.3%

$13,163

68.9%

Source: DEED Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages 2006-2015

Trends

Approximately 90% of the county is farmland. Although farming does not make up a significant portion of the jobs in the county, it provides other economic benefits. Total agricultural sales for the county in 2012 were $333,231,000, up from $169,002,000 in 2007. The average value of products sold per farm went up 111 percent from 2007 to 2012.3 The trend of higher productivity in the farmlands should continue to give higher output per farm with decreasing employment.


1 Upham, Warren. “Geographical Naming History.” Genealogy Trails, 2017. http://genealogytrails.com/minn/chippewa/history_names.html.
2 “Historic Sites in the Montevideo Area.” Montevideo, Minnesota. http://www.montevideomn.org/index.asp?SEC=780D79C9-5559-47FA-AF8B-780D602B15D6.
3 2012 Census of Agriculture, Chippewa County MN. (2013). Retrieved June 2, 2017, from https://www.agcensus.usda.gov/Publications/2012/Online_Resources/County_Profiles/Minnesota/cp27023.pdf

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