Annual Survey Shows Minnesota Manufacturers Anticipate Strong Economy in 2020


An annual survey of Minnesota’s manufacturing sector shows respondents anticipate stable or improved economic conditions in 2020.

Manufacturing is the state’s second-largest industry as measured by gross domestic product with more than 330,000 Minnesotans employed in the sector.

The survey was conducted by Minnesota’s Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) and the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. They found that 94 percent of manufacturers expect employment and production levels to remain the same or go up in 2020.

Another 87 percent said they expect numbers of orders to remain the same or go up while 84 percent said they expect the same of investments.

Overall, manufacturers reported unchanged or improved conditions in 2019, but at a lower rate than in 2018. Forty-eight percent reported unchanged productivity in 2019 while 44 percent experienced stable employment, states DEED’s survey.

“It’s good news for Minnesota that the majority of manufacturers in our state expect stable or improved business conditions in 2020,” Gov. Tim Walz said in a press release. “Manufacturing is a cornerstone of our state economy, accounting for 14% of Minnesota’s GDP and 40% of all Minnesota jobs, either directly or indirectly.”

The survey also included a question about the impact of President Donald Trump’s tariffs, which most manufacturers (81 percent) said had no effect on employment. Another 79 percent reported no effect on investment, and 74 percent reported no impact on capital expenditure.

However, 44 percent of manufacturers reported a negative effect from tariffs on input cost, 42 percent reported a negative impact on revenue, and 41 percent reported a negative impact on cost to consumers, according to DEED.

The poll surveyed 220 Minnesota manufacturers between November 25, 2019 and January 17, 2020.

Despite the positive results, the manufacturing sector was down 1,200 jobs in December, according to DEED’s monthly jobs report. The state’s unemployment rate held at 3.5 percent.

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the manufacturing sector added 479,000 jobs in the 34 months of President Donald Trump’s presidency. There were 259,000 manufacturing jobs added in the final 34 months of President Barack Obama’s presidency.

“We’re ending decades of failed trade policies that devastated communities all across the state. For generations, American manufacturing was the bedrock of your economy,” Trump said during a December rally in Pennsylvania. “Remember the last administration? ‘You’ll need a magic wand. It’ll never come back.’ We found the magic wand, didn’t we?”

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Anthony Gockowski is managing editor of The Minnesota Sun and The Ohio Star. Follow Anthony on Twitter. Email tips to [email protected].







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