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A vibrant and growing workforce

Greater MSP is home to a labor pool of over 2 million and has the highest labor force participation rate for a large metro at 72%.


Labor Force Statistics

Greater MSP has a positive track record--and is poised to continue that growth in the coming years. Home to a labor pool of 2.0 million and the highest labor force participation rate for a large metro at 72%.

Indicator Greater MSP Minnesota United States
Labor Force 2,032,283 3,130,509 164,404,000
Employment 1,978,126 3,040,087 158,593,000
Unemployment 54,157 101,795 5,811,000
Annualized Unemployment Rate (2018) 2.8% 3.0% 3.9%
Labor Force Participation Rate 71.6% 70.3% 63.2%

Source: Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development, Local Area Unemployment Statistics (seasonally adjusted, except for Greater MSP metro statistics), November 2018. Metro area LFPR from U.S. Census Bureau American Community Survey 2018 1-Year Estimates.

Wages and Job Availability

The region has an above-average concentration of employees in some of the most in-demand occupational categories, including brokerage clerks, CNC tool programmers and operators, machinists, computer systems analysts, industrial engineers, and marketing managers. Better yet, Greater MSP wages for these in-demand and specialized occupations are competitive with the national average.

Key Industry and Occupational Strengths

Employment in the jobs that support key industry sectors is growing.

Top occupations have grown by 8.3% between 2013-2018
Finance & Insurance
Top occupations have grown by 7.0% between 2013-2018
Computer & IT
Top occupations have grown by 11.2% between 2013-2018
Top occupations employed in industries were occupations with employment of 1,000 or more (for Computer & IT 500 or more).

A Thriving Destination

Greater MSP is a popular haven for skilled foreign workers seeking employment.

  • 2,900 Annual H1-B visa requests — a leader among the largest U.S. metros (myvisajobs.com 2019 data)
  • STEM occupations dominate the H1B visa request list in the twin cities, with engineers, developers, and system analysts filing the most requests (myvisajobs.com 2019 data)
  • 11,600 foreign students live in Greater MSP — University of MN-Twin Cities is the most popular destination
  • Over 1.2M residents of Greater MSP are from a different U.S. state or country (2013 U.S. Census)
    • 29% came from another country
    • 71% came from another state — top three metro regions are Chicago, NYC and Phoenix


Minnesota State will partner to customize or create new training tailored to your workforce, your timeline, your industry, or your business plan. Examples of past training programs cover a diverse range of specialties, including environmental safety compliance, computer programming, ISO certification, manufacturing technology, and quality assessment/management.

Learn more about workforce solutions offered by the State of Minnesota: 

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