Tuesday, December 07, 2004
This is the share of manufacturing employment in total nonfarm employment measured for the St. Cloud, Minnesota and U.S. economies. It's somewhat known in the local area that St. Cloud is more dependent than most places on manufacturing. What we didn't realize was how recent this phenomenon was. While the rest of the state and national economies have been undergoing secular declines in manufacturing employment (nationally from 17.7 million in 1990 to 14.5 in 2003, while overall employment rose more than 20 million), St. Cloud has added manufacturing jobs at a rate exceeding that of non-manufacturing.
The overarching question is whether this represents some comparative advantage this area has, or whether we've somehow been lucky enough to avoid the sectoral shift happening at the macro level. If it's the latter, the Electrolux closing, like the Fingerhut closing 2.5 years ago, may signal our luck is running out.