A FRAMEWORK FOR ECONOMIC GROWTH
Minnesota’s economy is highly developed. The state ranks high across a range of metrics, with leading industry clusters, 16 Fortune 500 headquarters, high rates of innovation and one of the highest workforce participation rates in the nation.
Minnesota’s overall economic performance tells a different story, however. When comparing growth, Minnesota’s economy has been trailing its peers and the U.S. economy the past two decades. GDP and job growth ranked 36th and 45th nationally in 2019. Minnesota also continued to have uneven outcomes across demographic groups and regionally, with populations of color and nonmetropolitan areas experiencing lower levels of economic well-being.
Then the COVID-19 pandemic upended economies locally and around the globe. The impact on Minnesota’s economy was significant, leading to unprecedented losses in employment and output. The pandemic not only changed Minnesota’s immediate economic outlook, but raised more fundamental questions related to remote work, supply chains, migration patterns and the future of urban centers.
Minnesota’s resiliency and diverse industry base allowed the state to mitigate some of the worst impacts of the pandemic-induced recession. By February 2021, the state’s unemployment rate ebbed to 4.3 percent and total employment reached 93 percent of prepandemic levels.
What lies beyond the immediate horizon? How is Minnesota poised to change – and how can businesses maximize the opportunities to advance and grow the state’s economy?
- Much remains unknown. The pandemic is not yet over, and the state may be in recovery mode through 2021 or beyond. Compelling trends can be projected with a fair amount of confidence nonetheless.
- Minnesota’s population and labor force growth will likely continue to slow.
- New technologies will reshape industries from manufacturing to health care to agriculture, shifting demand for skill sets in the workforce.
- Global demand for health care and food will continue to rise.
- Minnesota’s population will be more racially and ethnically diverse.
- Global megatrends like climate change and resource constraints will influence economic conditions.
What can Minnesota do to help its economy navigate these changes and develop to its full potential? Minnesota: 2030 outlines three fundamental strategies: build on strengths, leverage Minnesotans and strengthen communities. Within each strategy, this report explores a range of topics, outlining the basic opportunities and challenges that lie ahead. The full Minnesota: 2030 report advances over 50 recommendations to help guide future growth efforts.
Minnesota: 2030 is the first step. Subsequent research will dive deeper into key areas. Additional ideas and more detailed prescriptions may be needed. The Minnesota Chamber Foundation will take on next steps where possible, working with partners to identify opportunities across the state to develop and grow Minnesota’s economy for years to come. Private and public sector leaders should join these Minnesota: 2030 advancement efforts.