Minnesota Careers in Economics

Unemployment rates are down in Minnesota. The August 2012 unemployment rate was 5.9% compared to the national average of 8.1%. There were about 175,000 Minnesotans unemployed during the summer of 2012. The recession low for Minnesota was 5.6% in January 2012, so it seems the low rate of unemployment is remaining steady.

Economics Jobs in Minnesota’s Corporate and Government Sectors

Regardless of the job title, there are many career opportunities for graduates with an advanced degree in economics in the state. Minnesota is a hub for both big and small businesses. Serving as an economic analyst for a business means analyzing, tracking, and discerning data to help a business plot a course towards a healthy financial future. There is an astounding 19 Fortune 500 companies based in Minnesota including:

  • 3M, St. Paul
  • Best Buy, Richfield
  • SuperValu, Eden Prairie
  • Target, Minneapolis
  • UnitedHealth Group, Minnetonka

The corporate environment isn’t the right fit for every economist. Some professionals prefer public sector careers with government agencies. Nearly all state and federal agencies require economic analysts to help manage spending and determine the best use for public funds. These positions are often very stable, lucrative, and boast impressive benefit and retirement packages. Consider these state and federal agencies with offices in Minnesota:

  • Federal Trade Commission
  • State of Minnesota
  • USDA – ERS

A great way for recent graduates to gain new experiences is through networking and professional association membership:

  • Economic Club of Minnesota
  • Economic Development Association of Minnesota
  • Minnesota Economic Association


Economics Salaries in Minnesota

Economists are also faring well in Minnesota. The Bureau of Labor Services reports that the average economist’s salary is $67,710 or $32.55 per hour. There are 260 economists currently working in Minnesota; however, many with advanced degrees in managerial economics actually work as private sector analysts, or otherwise hold corporate leadership positions.

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