skip to content
Primary navigation

County Snapshots

by Mark Schultz
mark.schultz@state.mn.us
October 2017


Minnesota map showing Goodhue county

Past

Goodhue County was formed on March 5th, 1853. Hamline University was initially in the city of Red Wing, but it closed its doors in the midst of the Civil War because enrollment was too low, before opening again in 1869, this time in St. Paul. During the mid-1800’s, Goodhue County was a leader in wheat production, enjoying the largest production of wheat country-wide and shipping the wheat up and down the mighty Mississippi River. However, between two mill fires in Red Wing in the 1880’s and the changing transportation landscape from developing railroad routes, by the beginning of the 1900’s farmers in surrounding counties began to ship their wheat to mills located in Minneapolis.

Future

Goodhue County saw a population increase of almost 6,000 residents from 1990 to 2016, a jump of 14.7 percent. Additionally, the county’s labor force also saw a significant increase during this 16-year period, increasing by over 5,800 people (27.9 percent). Despite this increase in population and labor force, Goodhue County is an exporter of labor, with more residents leaving the county (13,456) for work than commute in from other counties (10,154) than who live and work in the county (11,317). The largest number of the workers commute into the county from Pierce County, WI, and Dakota County, MN, while the highest number of residents commute to Olmsted and Dakota Counties for work. As the economy continues to tighten, the population of Goodhue County is anticipated to decline by almost 2,000 people (4.1 percent), and the labor force is projected to see a similar decline of about 1,330 workers (5.5 percent).

Trends

Four industries make up just over 75 percent of the 21,473 total jobs in Goodhue County: Manufacturing (20.7 percent in 90 firms), Trade, Transportation, and Utilities (20.6 percent in 330 firms), Education and Health Services (20.3 percent in 149 firms), and Leisure and Hospitality (15.1 percent in 129 firms). Food Manufacturing makes up the largest portion of the 4,453 Manufacturing sector jobs at 15.3 percent, followed by Plastics and Rubber Manufacturing which comprises 10.8 percent. Since 2006 the total number of jobs in the county has increased by 0.6 percent (131 jobs). Despite this general increase across all industries, only the Manufacturing and Education and Health Services sectors saw an increase in jobs, with Manufacturing jumping 16.2 percent (948 jobs) and Education and Health Services seeing an increase of 10.2 percent (419 jobs). Trade, Transportation, and Utilities dropped by 8.1 percent (391 jobs), and Leisure and Hospitality saw a decline of 3.2 percent (109 jobs).

Economy

2016 Estimates

Goodhue County

Minnesota

Population

46,676

5,519,952

Labor Force (8/2017)

26,903

3,3,082,329

Average Unemployment (8/2017)

3.3%

3.6%

Average Household Income (2015)

$72,699

$80,444

Cost of Living (Individual)

$28,136

$29,856

Cost of Living (Average Family)

$51,125

$55,200

Source: U.S. Census Bureau, DEED Local Area Unemployment Statistics, American Community Survey, DEED Cost of Living Survey

 

Industry

Top Industries of Employment

Total
Employment, 2016

Percent Change 2006-2016

Average
Annual Wages

Percent Change 2006-2016

 

Total, All Industries

21,473

0.6%

$44,460

34.9%

1

Manufacturing

4,453

16.2%

$49,920

19.6%

2

Trade, Transportation, and Utilities

4,418

-8.1%

$52,780

43.8%

3

Education and Health Services

4,361

10.6%

$44,616

34.9%

4

Leisure and Hospitality

3,253

-3.2%

$25,584

27.1%

Source: DEED Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages 2006-2016



Minnesota map showing Grant county

Past

Grant County came to be in 1868 and was named after the 18th president, Ulysses S. Grant. The county seat is Elbow Lake although the only stoplight in Grant County is in Herman, and it is also home to three ghost towns – Hereford, which is now home to a single cemetery, Pomme de Terre, which met its end when a railroad was not built through it, and Thorsburg,

Future

Grant County experienced a decrease of 290 residents from 1990 to 2016, shrinking 4.6 percent. Despite this decrease in population, the labor force in Grant County saw a 15 percent increase, 427 people, during this 16-year period. While approximately 1,076 residents remain in the county for work, a substantial number (1,597) of residents leave the county for their jobs while only 925 non-residents commute into the county for work. Otter Tail and Douglas Counties send the most non-residents into the county for work as well as the being the counties that most Grant County residents commute to for work, Douglas receiving more than Otter Tail. The county’s population is projected to decline 347 people from 2020 to 2040 (5.9%) and, as the economy continues to tighten, the labor force is projected to also see a decline estimated at a loss of 127 workers (4.4 percent).

Trends

Of the total industries within Grant County, four comprise 72.5 percent of the estimated 1,870 jobs, including Education and Health Services (31.7 percent in 20 firms), Trade, Transportation, and Utilities (23.5 percent in 56 firms), Construction (10 percent in 36 firms), and Public Administration (8.1 percent in 19 firms). In general, the county saw a small decrease in total jobs in the last 10 years (2006-2016), a drop of only 10 jobs (0.5 percent), with both the Education and Health Services and Construction super sectors seeing declines of 12 (2 percent) and 11 jobs (6 percent), respectively. Despite these job declines, Trade, Transportation, and Utilities saw a rather significant increase of 104 jobs (31.0 percent) while Public Administration experienced a much smaller increase of 12 jobs (8.6 percent).

Economy

2016 Estimates

Grant County

Minnesota

Population

5,956

5,519,952

Labor Force (8/2017)

3,262

3,082,329

Average Unemployment (8/2017)

3.2%

3.6%

Average Household Income (2015)

$64,181

$80,444

Cost of Living (Individual)

$27,359

$29,856

Cost of Living (Average Family)

$45,196

$55,200

Source: U.S. Census Bureau, DEED Local Area Unemployment Statistics, American Community Survey, DEED Cost of Living Survey

 

Industry

Top Industries of Employment

Total
Employment, 2016

Percent Change 2006-2016

Average Annual Wages

Percent Change 2006-2016

Total, All Industries

1,870

-0.5%

$36,348

46.5%

1

Education and Health Services

592

-2.0%

$34,476

51.0%

2

Trade, Transportation, and Utilities

440

31.0%

$37,128

33.2%

3

Construction

172

-6.0%

$41,340

36.8%

4

Public Administration

151

+8.6%

$40,456

49.6%

Source: DEED Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages 2006-2016



Minnesota map showing Hennepin county

Past

Hennepin County was established on March 6, 1852, and Minneapolis was chosen as the county seat two years later. Originally, the plan was to name it Snelling County, but to honor Father Louis Hennepin, who first explored the area in 1680, the name Hennepin County was chosen. During its formative years the county population’s commitment to public education was evident as residents in almost every township approved school funding. By 1851 public schools were up and running in the city of Minneapolis, and the University of Minnesota was chartered.

Future

Over the last 16 years Hennepin County experienced an increase of 200,052 residents or 19.4 percent. The county’s labor force also increased 10.1 percent or 62,342 participants during this time. The county’s population and labor force are also projected to increase, with the population estimated to grow by just over 204,000 (15.8 percent) and the labor force, despite a tightening labor market, is expected to see growth of about 43,300 participants or 6 percent growth. Almost 461,500 people both live and work in the county, but a large number (166,367) of residents leave to work outside of the county. However, Hennepin County is a labor importer with a substantial number of workers (over 447,000) commuting into the county for their jobs. Ramsey and Dakota counties send in the most commuters, but also draw the most Hennepin County residents for work.

Trends

Just over 71 percent of the total jobs across all industries within Hennepin County is made up of four industries – Education and Health Services (21.9 percent or 197,592 jobs in 4,542 firms), Professional and Business Services (21.7 percent or 195,623 jobs in 8,105 firms), Trade, Transportation, and Utilities (18.1 percent or 163,393 jobs in 7,223 firms), and Financial Activities (9.5 percent or 85,198 jobs in 4,394 firms). In general, the county saw a decent sized increase in total jobs in the last 10 years (2006-2016), with a jump of 58,291 jobs (6.9 percent). Interestingly, in 2006 Education and Health Services was the third largest industry, but with a jump of 24.2 percent (38,474 jobs) it was number one in 2016. Additionally, Professional and Business Services added an additional 34,288 jobs during this time, a jump of 21.3 percent. Unfortunately, both Trade, Transportation, and Utilities and Financial Activities saw declines of 3.4 percent (5,654) and 5.3 percent (4,485) jobs, respectively, from 2006 to 2016.

Economy

2016 Estimates

Hennepin County

Minnesota

Population

1,232,486

5,519,952

Labor Force (8/2017)

707,001

3,082,329

Average Unemployment (8/2017)

3.5%

3.6%

Average Household Income (2015)

$92,879

$80,444

Cost of Living (Individual)

$31,724

$29,856

Cost of Living (Average Family)

$61,777

$55,200

Source: U.S. Census Bureau, DEED Local Area Unemployment Statistics, American Community Survey, DEED Cost of Living Survey

 

Industry

Total Employment

Total
Employment, 2016

Percent Change 2006-2016

Average
Annual Wages

Percent Change 2006-2016

Total, All Industries

901,225

6.9%

$66,872

26.5%

1

Education and Health Services

197,592

24.2%

$53,456

18.3%

2

Professional and Business Services

195,623

21.3%

$86,996

33.5%

3

Trade, Transportation, and Utilities

163,393

-3.4%

$57,824

26.8%

4

Financial Activities

85,198

-5.3%

$107,380

32.6%

Source: DEED Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages 2006-2016



Minnesota map showing Houston county

Past

Situated in the southeast corner of the state, Houston County saw its beginning in 1854 when a land office opened in the city of Brownsville. Its position in the state made it a “natural entry point” when the first settlers were moving in from the east. Spanning about 24 miles top to bottom, and close to the same size east to west, the county is located in the “Driftless area,” which is a small portion of the Midwest region that was safe from the coverage of ice and glaciers that occurred during the last stage of glaciation.

Future

From 1990 to 2016 Houston county saw a small increase in the population, jumping from 18,497 to 18,814 (317 residents or 1.7 percent). During the same 16 years, the labor force saw over double that, gaining 716 participants (7.3 percent). Unfortunately, the population and labor force are projected to decrease in the future, with the population expected to drop by 1,710 (9.1 percent) from 2016 to 2040 and the labor force projected to drop by 1,477 (14.9 percent) from 2016 to 2030. Of the workers in the county, 3,450 both live and work in the county while an additional 2,125 commute in from the surrounding areas. Houston County, however, is a net exporter of labor with almost 6,500 county residents leaving the county for their jobs. The county sees the most non-residents commuting in from La Crosse and Winona Counties as well as sends the most residents to the same two counties for work.

Trends

2016 annual averages show that an estimated 71.2 percent of all jobs in Houston County are made up of only four industries. Those four industries are Education and Health Services (1,556 jobs, 30.2 percent in 55 establishments), Trade, Transportation, and Utilities (1,044 jobs, 20.3 percent in 89 establishments), Manufacturing (600 jobs, 20.3 percent in 23 establishments), and Public Administration (469 jobs, 9.1 percent in 16 establishments). Overall, Houston County saw a very small decrease in the number of jobs from 2006 to 2016, dropping by only five, a change of just 0.1 percent. Surprisingly, given that the Southeast region is a bit of a powerhouse when it comes to Manufacturing, that industry saw a significant decline in jobs throughout the county, dropping by almost 30 percent (28.4 percent) during this time period, going from 838 Manufacturing jobs in 2006 to 600 jobs in 2016. The remaining three industries that make up the top four all saw increases ranging from 4.7 percent (21 more jobs in Public Administration) to 9.3 percent (133 additional Education and Health Services jobs).

 

Economy

2016 Estimates

Houston County

Minnesota

Population

18,814

5,519,952

Labor Force (8/2017)

10,297

3,082,329

Average Unemployment (8/2017)

2.9%

3.6%

Average Household Income (2015)

$64,686

$80,444

Cost of Living (Individual)

$26,941

$29,856

Cost of Living (Average Family)

$47,017

$55,200

Source: U.S. Census Bureau, DEED Local Area Unemployment Statistics, American Community Survey, DEED Cost of Living Survey

 

Industry

Top Industries of Employment

Total
Employment, 2016

Percent Change 2006-2016

Average Annual Wages

Percent Change 2006-2016

Total, All Industries

5,150

-0.1%

$32,236

28.2%

1

Education and Health Services

1,556

9.3%

$30,264

23.3%

2

Trade, Transportation, and Utilities

1,044

6.7%

$31,096

29.7%

3

Manufacturing

600

-28.4%

$37,388

43.2%

4

Public Administration

469

4.7%

$29,432

30.7%

Source: DEED Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages 2006-2016

back to top