News

Target Retains Crown as Top Employer in Minneapolis

An annual report by the Minneapolis Downtown Council revealed that amid a population hike, top employers in the city relatively consistent, though some glaring changes from 2017 did occur.

Target Retains Crown as Top Employer in Minneapolis
Target in downtown Minneapolis. (CC)

The Minneapolis Downtown Council released on Wednesday its annual report of the city’s top employers, and Target once again topped the list with the largest workforce in Minneapolis. At the end of 2018, the retailer had approximately 8,300 staffers in the city.

Keeping with 2017’s pecking order, Hennepin Healthcare and Wells Fargo rounded out the top three, consecutively, with 7,000 or more employees in Minneapolis.

“Truth be told, the employers in the top 15 have been pretty steady for the last couple years,” says Steve Cramer president and CEO of the Downtown Council. “[But] overall employment… especially job growth in the North Loop… was higher than expected. That was exciting.”

Still, despite the stagnance Cramer refers to, there were indeed a few changes among the top 15 employers in 2018.

Capella Education held its number 11 spot, but as the result of a merger—finalized last August—with Strayer Education Inc., it is now Strategic Education Inc. Following the merger, it was announced more than 125 employees at Capella headquarters would be laid off, but according to the Downtown Council report, Strategic Education had only 45 less employees on the year than Capella Education had in 2017.

The Star Tribune, which fell from 12th place to 14th, had the steepest workforce drop year-over-year in the city. The media outlet shed 154 jobs and rounded out last year with 942 staff members in Minneapolis. Hennepin County lost the second-most employees in the city’s Top 15 list. The agency shed 136 people, though it remained the fourth largest employer with 6,459.

Meanwhile, supply chain management company SPS Commerce fell out of the top 15, and Deloitte took its 13th-place slot.

The biggest year-over-year gains came from the Federal Reserve Bank and AmeriPrise Financial. The Federal Reserve Bank added 165 employees, while AmeriPrise Financial’s Minneapolis employee count improved by 172 jobs.

The overall 2018 ranking is as follows:

  1. Target (8,300 employees)
  2. Hennepin Healthcare (7,106)
  3. Wells Fargo (7,000)
  4. Hennepin County (6,459)
  5. Ameriprise (5,065)
  6. U.S. Bank (4,608)
  7. Xcel Energy (2,458)
  8. City of Minneapolis (2,076)
  9. RBC Wealth Management (1,508)
  10. Thrivent (1,326)
  11. Strategic Education, Inc. (1,213)
  12. Federal Reserve Bank (1,135)
  13. Deloitte (978)
  14. Star Tribune (942)
  15. ABM (920)


The Downtown Council also noted a significant jump in the population of Minneapolis. The city attracted more than 6,000 new residents—increasing from 43,456 in 2017 to 49,781 in 2018. 

Since 2006 the downtown population has risen by 56 percent, according to the Downtown Council.

“There’s a general trend in minimarkets across the country of younger professionals wanting to live and work in a downtown environment,” says Cramer, “so that’s a core driver of [the rental housing] aspect of our population growth.”

There’re also no signs of the population boon slowing down, as 2,321 apartment rentals are currently under construction downtown. What’s more, for the 7th straight year, Minneapolis approved more than $1 billion in construction permits for projects citywide.

Newsletter Sign Up