After a two-year rebound, factory employment in Minnesota has decreased in recent months in part because manufacturers are worried about the European economy, the U.S. elections and slowing domestic demand for consumer products.
Minnesota Chamber of Commerce vice president Bill Blazar says manufacturing employment in Minnesota has decreased in recent months because manufacturers are feeling anxiety on several fronts.
Blazar, who will speak about manufacturing and the economy on Tuesday at a meeting for manufacturers in Bloomington, says the drop in Minnesota factory employment is probably temporary.
"There's a lot of tension and nervousness about what's going to happen next week or next month or maybe through the end of the year," he said, "and I think that has a dampening effect on the short-term growth of the economy. But then you ask somebody who's managing and owning a business what they think about their long-term prospects, and 8 out of 10 of them are optimistic."
Blazar says manufacturers' success over the next few years will depend on their ability to increase exports and find qualified employees.
Factories employ more than 300,000 Minnesotans and pay wages 20 percent above average.