Health care employs 478,485 people in Minnesota, the largest workforce by sector in the state, accounting for $25.7 billion in wages in 2019. The key role of the health care industry in Minnesota’s economy has been highlighted in the COVID-19 pandemic, during which dedicated health care workers saved thousands of lives. The importance of the industry in the state is why Governor Walz has proclaimed January as Health Care Month.

"Health Care Month is an opportunity to highlight the economic impacts of the health care industry in our state. Health care jobs offer a career path to family-sustaining wages and economic security," said Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) Commissioner Steve Grove. "Many entry-level health care jobs can be started with no previous experience and many employers provide on-the-job training, helping people considering a career move get on track for future career growth in the health care field."

Health care in Minnesota pays an average annual wage of $53,659, which is 4% higher than the nation’s average wage of $51,792 for the same sector. Wages go up with additional training, certification and experience. There is projected long-term demand, as well as high current demand for health care workers. Four of the top 10 Jobs in Demand now in Minnesota based on current job postings are health care jobs.

Many entry-level health care positions can leverage skills and experience from other industries, including the hospitality industry. People who lost their jobs in restaurants, hotels or other places during the pandemic may find now is a good time to try out a health care position, even temporarily, to earn money and learn more about working in the field. People considering a career shift from hospitality to health care can use this tool to see how skills from common hospitality jobs transfer to various roles – including non-direct care roles like dietary and housekeeping – in health care.

Health care added $36.6 billion to Minnesota’s economy in 2019, representing the fourth-largest contribution (10%) to the state’s private gross domestic product by any sector. There are more than 11,000 health care employers in Minnesota, including Mayo Clinic and other renowned institutions.

The strength of the health care sector in Minnesota contributes to med-tech breakthroughs and R&D that help foster the success of adjacent industries, such as pharma and medical manufacturing. Minnesota’s top export category is optics/medical products, with $4.6 billion in exports in 2019. This category includes orthopedics and artificial body parts (like prosthetics and medical devices); medical and surgical instruments; and analytical devices.

As Governor Walz proclaimed: Health care is a dynamic and robust industry, crucial to the health and strength of Minnesota’s diverse economy. Minnesota’s health care workers deserve to be celebrated for serving on the front lines during the COVID-19 pandemic, working to ensure our state’s safety and security.

Find out more about the vibrant health care industry in Minnesota, get information about Health Care Month virtual events and access other related resources on the Health Care Month page on CareerForceMN.com.

DEED is the state's principal economic development agency, promoting business recruitment, expansion and retention, workforce development, international trade and community development. For more details about the agency and its services, visit the DEED website or follow us on Twitter.

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