MN Food Maker’s Recruiting Troubles Reflect State Problem

A rural Minnesota company is struggling to fill factory positions, a problem that, according to a recent Twin Cities Business survey, many local companies are experiencing.

KLN Family Brands, a Perham-based snack maker, is reportedly having trouble recruiting new entry-level workers for its factory and has begun hiring immigrants from Ukraine to fill the jobs.
According to the Star Tribune, more than 60 people from overseas are landing in Perham this summer to take factory jobs that pay around $11.79 per hour—jobs that KLN reportedly had challenges filling in rural Minnesota’s fast-growing economy. Learn more about KLN’s international recruitment here.
In Twin Cities Business’ latest Quarterly Economic Indicator Survey, we found that multiple businesses across the state say they’re having a hard time finding good local talent. 

According to TCB’s late-June polling of more than 11,000 businesses, some 38 percent of business leaders from around the state plan to hire, while only 6 percent plan to cut jobs in the three months ending Sept. 30. Compared with a year earlier, plans to hire are up 10 percent, while plans for layoffs are down by 14 percent. Overall, it’s the best hiring outlook in Minnesota since the second quarter of 2012.

But when asked about finding qualified labor, 41 percent of the 467 business leaders who responded to the survey said they expect it to become harder this summer—the highest percentage of “more difficult” recorded in the 13 quarters in which TCB has conducted this survey. See the full results of the survey here.