Minnesota’s geographic location may prevent it from having easy access to major shipping ports or trade routes that easily link it to Asia, but the North Star State still has a thriving economy, and several industries in Minnesota are doing well.
According to businessinsider.com, Minnesota has the 16th-best economy in the nation
and is a “consistently solid performer with a diverse economy and an unemployment rate that has typically remained well below the national average,” according to a report by Wells Fargo.
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But which parts of Minnesota’s economy are the strongest? Let’s take a look, using information from the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development.
Having the Mayo Clinic in the state helps with this one. Minnesota is one of seven states that added more than 5,000 bioscience jobs
between 2001-2010 and ranked No. 2 nationally in overall medical patents from 2008-2012. For animal science the state is first in turkeys raised and the University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine was ranked in the top 10 in the nation according to U.S. News & World Report. Agriculture is big as well, as the state ranks first in sugar beets and oats production, plus is the No. 1 processor of sweet corn. Five of the 18 Fortune 500 companies in Minnesota have operations in food or beverage production.
Manufacturing is the No. 2 employer in the state of Minnesota
and contributed $40.4 billion to the economy. Payroll in the industry went up 12 percent between 2009-2012, the annual average wage in manufacturing is $58,750, and $5.2 billion was exported to Canada. According to a study by Cyberstates, Minnesota ranks first in the nation in electromedical equipment jobs with 13,338 and sixth in total high-tech employment with 46,057 employees.
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3. Wind Power
Minnesota, the North Star State, is the “geographical center of wind”
and ranks third in the nation in terms of electricity generated from wind (9.7 percent). Xcel Energy, headquartered in Minnesota, buys more wind power than any other utility in the nation, and the largest wind turbine trucking company in the country, Anderson, is based in the state. Wind is indeed healthy, as the National Renewable Energy Lab said that Minnesota can provide almost 25 times its current needs.
4. Data Centers
The state’s climate keeps buildings cool naturally, and that means that data centers save money on cooling, a major cost. And the state’s water from its 12,000 lakes is used in cooling technology, lessening the cost of transport. Throw in some of the lowest energy costs in the country and that’s why Minnesota touts its data center hosting abilities. Infrastructure is in place, as DSL and satellite Internet use in Minnesota are higher than the national average. The largest data center in Minnesota is United Health Group
at 250,000 square feet.
5. Animal Science
Minnesota is a national leader in livestock and livestock products, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the National Agriculture Statistics Service (2012), ranking as the top state for the number of turkeys raised; third in hogs and pigs; sixth in red meat production; sixth in milk cows and seventh nationwide for milk production.
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