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Greater Mankato experienced continued growth in 2012

Mankato, MINN (February 13, 2013) – 2012 was another year of growth for the Greater Mankato marketplace. “The individual strengths of the cities and counties here combine to create a powerful portfolio of combined assets, resulting in collective success for the region,” said Greater Mankato Growth President & CEO Jonathan Zierdt.   “This unique combination of assets includes access to a talented workforce, supply chain availability, industry diversification, outstanding livability and a commitment to regional collaboration, to name a few.”

Each February Greater Mankato Growth compiles the marketplace’s annual economic data and benchmarks for the previous year. Greater Mankato Growth identifies the “Greater Mankato marketplace” as including Blue Earth and Nicollet counties and communities immediately adjacent like Le Sueur. In many cases, however, the latest economic information is limited to the Mankato-North Mankato Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA), which specifically includes all of Blue Earth and Nicollet counties. Key economic successes for the MSA in 2012 included:  

  • 11th in the nation on Forbes 2012 list of Best Small Places for Business and Careers
    • In June 2012, Forbes ranked the Mankato-North Mankato MSA 11th in the nation of all places in the U.S. with populations less than 250,000, up from 25th place in 2011. Forbes based the ranking on the entire MSA’s performance in variety of areas, including job growth, costs (business and living), income growth, educational attainment, projected economic growth and quality of life.
  • Top 25% in the nation for Job Growth by NewGeography.com 
    • In May 2012, NewGeography.com ranked the MSA number 80 among all 398 MSAs in the U.S. for creation of short and long-term jobs. This was the highest ranking of any of the six Minnesota MSAs. The Mankato-North Mankato MSA was also ranked top in Minnesota and 52nd in the nation among the 243 MSAs in the U.S. that are classified as “small sized” (those with fewer than 150,000 employees). 
  • 141 new building and renovation projects totaling more than $223 million
    • Of the 141 new projects initiated or completed in 2012, square footage was available for 45 projects and totaled more than 2.5 million square feet. Total construction costs were available for 81 of the projects and totaled more than $223 million. This follows two strong years, with a total of 270 building and renovation projects initiated or completed from the beginning of 2010 through the end of 2012. These figures do not include a planned Walmart distribution center coming to the area. 
  • Average Number of Establishments up 1.6%
    • The average number of establishments in the MSA at the end of the 2nd Quarter of 2012 was at 2,719, compared to 2,675 at the end of 2011, a 1.6% increase in six months.
  • Payroll Increase of 6.2%
    • Total payroll in the MSA for the 2nd Quarter of 2012 was $461 million, compared to $434 million for the same period of 2011, a 6.2% increase. The average weekly wage at the end of the 2nd Quarter of 2012 was $697, compared to $679 at the end of 2011, a 2.7% increase.
  • Year over Year Job Growth of 2.3%
    • Between 2011 and 2012 the average number of jobs for all non-farm businesses located in the Mankato-North Mankato MSA grew by 2.3% (or 1,220 jobs). This was the largest gain of any of the six MSAs in the state. It was also well above Minnesota overall, which grew by 1.3% and U.S, which grew by 1.7%.  More than just a one year trend, over the past 10 years, from 2002 to 2012, the Mankato-North Mankato MSA’s  average job number increased by 7.5%, again higher than any other MSA in the state of Minnesota (ranging from -1.45 to 6.1%), the entire state of Minnesota (1.7%) and the U.S. (2.5%).   
  • Average Monthly Unemployment down by .6
    • Average monthly unemployment for residents living in the MSA dropped from 5.3% in 2011 to 4.7% in 2012, a difference of .6%.

“People have asked us what is Greater Mankato’s secret to success, and while some communities might not want to share what makes them successful, we can, because the assets we have that make our region so strong cannot be duplicated overnight. Other communities might strive for these assets, but developing them takes time and a spirit of cooperation among all involved, which is what we do really well here,” said Zierdt.

For more details and data sources for the above statistics, visit greatermankato.com/economy.

About Greater Mankato Growth
Greater Mankato Growth (GMG) is committed to advancing business for a stronger community. As the Chamber of Commerce and Economic Development organization serving the regional marketplace, GMG advances business through: existing business support, new business growth, business promotion, talent development, public affairs, community marketing, visitor attraction and servicing and civic engagement. Greater Mankato Growth, Inc. also includes two LLCs: the Greater Mankato Convention and Visitors Bureau, LLC, which focuses on visitor attraction and servicing, and the City Center Partnership, LLC, which focuses on development in the City Center.    

About the Regional Economic Development Alliance
In 2009, the Regional Economic Development Alliance (REDA) began with a progressive group of communities and counties joining together with Greater Mankato Growth in business attraction and development efforts. REDA participants include Eagle Lake, Lake Crystal, Le Sueur, Madison Lake, Mankato, Saint Peter and Blue Earth County. By working together, the group is able to efficiently provide regional and individual city and county information to businesses interested in the Greater Mankato marketplace. As a result of promoting the individual strengths of each community, along with the combined assets of the regional marketplace, all experience collective success.


contact:  Shelly Megaw, 507.381.0404  |  smegaw@greatermankato.com


The Greater Mankato Growth, Inc. Family: Visit Mankato City Center Partnership