We all knew this, right?  The City of Duluth was recently recognized in a national survey for being one of the "Best Places To Work In Manufacturing".  The honor came from smartasset.com in their 2021 ranking of the manufacturing sector.

The organization came up with the list by surveying and analyzing "nearly 400 metro areas" in the following ways using these metrics:

  • Manufacturing as a percentage of the workforce
  • Job growth from 2016 to 2019
  • Job growth from 2018 to 2019
  • Income growth from 2016 to 2019
  • Income growth from 2018 to 2019
  • Housing costs as a percentage of income
  • The September 2021 unemployment rate

The survey reports back where manufacturing continues to play a large role in the local economy.  It's worth noting that the strong presence of manufacturing is tempered by a diminishing labor force.  The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics "says that 7.5 million manufacturing jobs have been lost since the peak in 1969".

Those loses in manufacturing jobs comes from a variety of sources.  One of the largest reasons for the diminished role of manufacturing jobs in the United States is from "companies moving manufacturing to other countries where labor costs are significantly lower".

So how did Duluth do?

Out of the 378 metro areas that smartasset.com detailed, the Duluth metro ranks 32nd in the nation "among the best places to work for manufacturing".  If you're interested in what metro area finished in the top spot - it was Wausau, Wisconsin followed by Kalamazoo-Portage, Michigan.  The Midwest was represented three other times in the top ten.

Nick Cooper - TSM Duluth
Nick Cooper - TSM Duluth

In doing the survey and rankings, smartasset.com turned up two interesting "key findings" about manufacturing - both of which lend themselves to our area.  One is that "geography is consistent". That top ten list is comprised entirely of cities located in the Midwest or in the South; neither of the costs are represented.

Additionally, "manufacturing jobs are more robust in some areas than others".  Again - geography plays a role in this. In the majority of the Midwest communities listed, manufacturing played a large role in the economy; southern metros - while represented on the list - saw smaller slices of the pie for manufacturing.

 As for Duluth, manufacturing represents 7.2% of the total economy.  Meanwhile, the September 201 unemployment rate was 3.1%.

The complete list is available on smartasset.com's website.

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