Map: Slaughterers, meat packers Minnesota's 'most unique' job


The employment landscape in a state can offer hints about its culture.

What does it say about Minnesota? Well according to one new map, the meat industry is more prominent in Minnesota than in any other state.

The site Mental Floss, together with Economic Modeling Specialists Intl., created that map of the U.S. and each state's "most unique" job. What the map shows is which profession in each state occurs at a higher rate there than anywhere else.

So for example, in California, actors make up a higher percentage of the workforce than in any of its 49 stately counterparts.

As for us? Compared to every other state, Minnesota has the largest ratio of slaughterers and meat packers in its work force. (Click here to get a detailed look at the entire nation.)

Statistically, that number is referred to as the "location quotient." It essentially compares the ratio of jobs in one area to the ratio of those jobs nationally, as a whole. A 1.0 "location quotient" means the ratios statewide and nationally are equal. Minnesota's LQ for slaughterers and meat packers is 4.82. Here's a video if you'd like to know more about the LQ.

Slaughterers and meat packers in Minnesota

The Bureau of Labor Statistics says there are an estimated 82,070 people in the U.S. working in slaughtering, meat packing, or wholesale establishments. Of that total, 8,190 jobs are in Minnesota – the second-highest gross number in the nation. North Carolina has the most, with 10,180 industry jobs.

However the location quotient – which is the ratio of workers in that state compared to the national average – is highest in Minnesota.

There are an average of 3.04 slaughterers and meat packers for every 1,000 jobs in Minnesota, the highest concentration of those careers compared to every other state.

The bureau says the average annual mean wage for those jobs in Minnesota is $26,570 ($12.77 an hour) – slightly above the national average of $25,400 ($12.21 an hour).

The University of Minnesota's Minnesota Institute for Sustainable Agriculture has more information about meat packers in the state.

Some other "most unique" jobs from the Midwest, according to the Mental Floss map:

  • Illinois – Correspondence clerks
  • Iowa – Soil and plant scientists
  • North Dakota – Derrick operators, oil and gas
  • South Dakota – Farmers, ranchers, and other agricultural managers
  • Wisconsin – Foundry mold and coremakers

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