Like many areas of the country, St. Paul and Minneapolis have established themselves as major high-technology hubs. Minnesota's overall tech employment exceeded 124,400 in 2012, TechAmerica Foundation reports in its Cyberstates survey. Technical and vocational schools in Minneapolis offer programs in computer science, engineering, mechanics, biotechnology, electronics, medical instrumentation, automotive design, information technology and more. Enrollment at Minneapolis Community and Technical College exceeds 15,000 students each year, the college reports.
The health care, manufacturing and transportation industries also are growing in the Twin Cities. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the following industries were major employers in the region in January of 2014:
- Leisure and hospitality, 161,400
- Manufacturing, 183,300
- Educational and health services, 299,800
- Professional and business services, 267,900
- Trade, transportation and utilities, 320,200
Economy and population of Minneapolis and St. Paul
The U.S. Census Bureau reports that Minneapolis had an estimated population of 392,880 in 2012, and the greater Twin Cities metropolitan area had an overall population approaching 2.9 million. Minneapolis and St. Paul enjoy an abundance of commercial, manufacturing, trucking, financial and healthcare activity. Jobs in many of those industries have become more competitive, but the region's unemployment rate still was just 5.1 percent in January of 2014, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS.gov) reports -- lower than the national average of 6.6 percent in the same month due to the strength of the region's diversified economy.
The following are 2013 BLS median hourly wages for a sampling of the workforce in the St. Paul/Minneapolis area:
- Dental hygienists at $34.61
- Chefs and head cooks at $22.78
- Civil engineering technicians at $28.59
- Paralegals and legal assistants at $24.91
- Plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfitters at $36.12
- Computer user support specialists at $23.84
Students who earn a degree, diploma or certificate from one of the area's trade schools may wish to explore these or other careers.
Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, MN-WI, Economy at a Glance, Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2014, http://www.bls.gov/eag/eag.mn_minneapolis_msa.htm
Local Area Unemployment Statistics, Bureau of Labor Statistics, February 2014, www.bls.gov/web/metro/laulrgma.htm
Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, NV-WI, Occupational Employment Statistics, Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2013, www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_33460.htm#35-0000
Minneapolis Community and Technical College, accessed April 14, 2014, www.minneapolis.edu/About-Us
"Minnesota Tech Industry Employes 124,400 in 2012," TechAmerica Foundation, www.techamericafoundation.org/minnesota-tech-industry-employs-124400-in-2012
Minneapolis, Minnesota, State & Country QuickFacts, U.S. Census, Bureau, http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/states/27/2743000.html