9/24/2018 3:00:00 PM
Food manufacturing is big business in southwestern Minnesota. In fact, with more than 11,000 jobs at 109 establishments, the industry employs workers in that region at four times the concentration statewide, according to a story by Cameron Macht in the latest issue of Trends magazine.
The cluster of food production jobs in southwestern Minnesota isn’t surprising, given the area also has a significant number of farms and other agriculture-related enterprises.
The food manufacturing sector includes businesses specializing in animal slaughtering and processing, grain and oilseed milling, dairy product manufacturing, fruit and vegetable preserving, and specialty food manufacturing,
Despite perceptions that food manufacturing provides only entry-level jobs with low wages, average annual wages are more than $11,000 higher than industries overall in the region. In 2017, average annual wages were $51,688 in food manufacturing, compared with $40,352 across all industries.
Grain and oilseed milling and animal food manufacturing offered the best pay, with workers earning almost $70,000 a year on average.
It’s also noteworthy that the industry is a leader in integrating the region’s workforce. While workers from non-white races or ethnicities account for just 6 percent of the region’s overall workforce, workers in those demographic groups hold about 20 percent of the jobs in food manufacturing.
Food manufacturing jobs are plentiful in the region and offer good pay. Furthermore, educational barriers to entry are low. Most jobs can be started with a high school diploma or less.
Read Food Manufacturing Brings Much to the Table in the latest issue of Trends.