The 13-county Central Minnesota planning region had a population of 693,108 in 2014, almost 13% of the state’s population. With a larger population, yet a similar volume of jobs posted compared to other Greater Minnesota regions, the number of people in the labor force per job opening (potential candidates indicated below) is very high. This is the result of the region’s highly mobile labor force, with over 40% of the region’s working residents commuting outside of the region to get to their place of work according to one DEED analysis of the commute shed. Central Minnesota is a net exporter of labor with only 198,956 workers both residing and working in the region in 2013 according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
According to DEED’s Occupational Employment Statistics, about 16% of all jobs held in Central Minnesota are in production manufacturing, whereas production comprises only 11% of all jobs statewide. Healthcare and social assistance jobs are expected to increase in demand by over 28% through 2022, while production manufacturing is expected to increase by only 3%. In 2014, DEED identified ten industry sub-sectors that define the region by having significantly higher concentrations of jobs and firms than seen statewide. Overall, Central Minnesota has 9.7% of the state’s total employment, but is home to 25% of the state’s employment in animal production, furniture, and related product manufacturing. The projected slowed growth of manufacturing and production in the region is of particular concern for the local communities that rely on these economic niches, which are extremely diverse across the eastern and western subregions of Central Minnesota.
Transportation services are in high demand in Central Minnesota, accounting for 17% of all jobs advertised online to date in 2016. Healthcare positions are the second most sought, with 14% of all postings pertaining to this sector. When health support occupations are included (3.2% pf the postings), the total healthcare function positions lead as the most-sought positions in the region. These types of jobs are typically advertised online whenever openings are available, and counts are a relatively strong representation of regional labor needs. However, a number of critical industries continue to post job openings in very low volumes and may under count actual need. Some of these industries include forestry and logging, paper manufacturing, electric power generation and transmission, and mining. Highly unionized industries and temporary or seasonal positions are also not advertised online in large volumes, and other data sources might capture the true number of vacancies better.
For the full report and a list of additional relevant data sources, see our Reports page.