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Located in central Minnesota along U.S. Highway 71, Todd County is home to just over 24,500 people. The population of the county ballooned dramatically between 1860 and 1940, fell steadily through the 1970s, and has remained stable through 2017. The county currently ranks as Minnesota’s 42nd largest. Long Prairie, with over 3,300 people, is the county’s largest city and the county seat.
As of annual 2017 Todd County had 557 establishments supplying 6,463 jobs. Over one in five of these jobs (21.2%) was government employment, significantly higher than the share of statewide jobs in government (13.4%). 93.0% of these government jobs were local government jobs, notably within Educational Services (825 jobs) and Public Administration (415 jobs).
While government employment in Educational Services and Public Administration makes up a significant piece of Todd County’s economy, private employment in Manufacturing takes the top spot for most jobs in the county. More specifically, there were just over 1,660 manufacturing jobs in Todd County in 2017, making up over one quarter of the county’s total employment. For reference, Manufacturing makes up about one tenth of the state’s total employment. With nearly 1,140 jobs, Health Care and Social Assistance is the county’s second largest employing industry sector.
After peaking in 2004 Todd County’s total employment declined by 8.6 percent (556 jobs) between 2004 and 2016. Nearly all of this loss was made up in a single year, however, as total employment spiked by 9.0 percent (532 jobs) between 2016 and 2017. Virtually all of this growth came from gains in Health Care and Social Assistance with the completion of a new hospital recently in Long Prairie. Growth in health care employment is almost guaranteed to continue into the near future with construction underway on a new community well-being center, also in Long Prairie. Health Care and Social Assistance, making up just under 18 percent of Todd County’s total employment, may soon pass Manufacturing as the county’s top-employing industry sector.