State of Manufacturing®

The comprehensive annual survey of Minnesota’s manufacturing economy.

In 2020, the survey reveals that COVID uncertainties cloud manufacturers' outlook and workers are still hard to find.

2021 State of Manufacturing® survey

Join us in November for the 2021 State of Manufacturing® Survey release event. Our pollster will be out in the field surveying Minnesota manufacturing executives beginning in August.

Participate in a Focus Group

Manufacturing executives are invited to participate in one of our confidential Focus Groups that provides context and insight to the trends our survey reveals. Focus Group sessions are happening throughout September 2021.

Register to participate in a Focus Group – click here.

Results from our 2020 survey

Watch the complete recorded presentation of the 2020 State of Manufacturing survey results.

(0:00-2:45) Introduction by Tom Whelan
(2:45-9:50) Welcome by Bob Kill
(9:50-36:50) Survey results by Rob Autry
(36:50-1:20:00) Manufacturing panel moderated by Tom Whelan

SOM 2020 Video Cover 700x700

The Takeaway

COVID uncertainties cloud manufacturers’ outlook.

The COVID-19 pandemic cast a long shadow over Minnesota’s manufacturers on 2020, triggering the deepest plunge in manufacturers’ expectations for their companies since the Great Recession of 2009. A record low number of companies expect increased revenues in 2020; the number of executives who fear recession has increased seven-fold, and confidence in the business climate has sunk to half of what it was in 2018.

Recessionary Fears Increased

Overall, seventy percent of manufacturers say the COVID-19 pandemic has had a “major” (35%) or “modest” (35%) impact on their businesses. The impact appears to be felt less in the western half of the state. Despite this, manufacturers continue to have confidence in their companies’ long-term resilience, as they have shown in all the years of the poll. There was a significant increase in the number of manufacturers who fear recession, however (36%, up from just 5% the year earlier).

Read the pollster’s full analysis here.

From CEO Bob Kill

“The effects of the 2020 COVID economy have hit all areas of manufacturing differently. Some manufacturers are struggling to keep up with skyrocketing demand, while others are struggling to keep solvent. Once reliable supply chains have for some become unstable and unresponsive,” said Bob Kill, president & CEO of Enterprise Minnesota. “But one major takeaway from this year’s survey is that manufacturers continue to be resilient problem-solvers with a get-it-done attitude. They continue to adapt to changing demands and have worked very hard to not cut employee compensation.”

2020 Complete Survey Deck

To view the complete slide deck, please click here.

Focus Group responses

11 focus group interviews were conducted in coordination with the 2020 survey. These focus groups give us detailed insights into what manufacturing executives are seeing in their businesses. To read more about focus group responses, click here.

For complete focus group transcripts, visit our Research Page.

Thank you to our 2020 Platinum Sponsors

Bob Kill, president & CEO of Enterprise Minnesota is available for comment and interview regarding the State of Manufacturing® survey. If you would like to schedule an interview, please contact Robert Lodge (rlodge@enterpriseminnesota.org).

The State of Manufacturing survey is made possible through the support of our generous partners. If you are interested in being a part of the State of Manufacturing survey, please contact us.

The State of Manufacturing survey is conducted by Meeting Street Insights and is underwritten by Enterprise Minnesota.

Complete 2020 survey cross tabulations, focus group transcripts and analysis can be found on our Research Page.

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