Population & Workforce

Sherburne County straddles two of the fastest growing population centers in the state -the Minneapolis Saint Paul metro area and Saint Cloud - and with its good commuter rail and bus service, Sherburne County has experienced rapid residential growth. Sherburne County is expected to be one of the fastest growing counties over the coming decades. From 2010 to 2035, the Minnesota State Demographic Center expects that the county’s population will grow by 73%. Sherburne County’s labor force is projected to grow by 63%. Many residents leave the county for employment, creating an opportunity for new employers to tap an available skilled workforce.

The educational profile of Sherburne County residents is strong. It is particularly well-suited to technical and skilled production and back office operations. Wages are typically lower than the in the Greater MSP core - a bottom-line advantage for employers.

Major Cities & Populations

City
Population
Becker
4,781
Big Lake
10,918
Clear Lake
605
Elk River
county seat
24,368
Princeton
located in 2 counties
4,707
107 in Sherburne County
St Cloud
located in 3 counties
67,641
6,907 in Sherburne County
Zimmerman
5,469
A chart comparing workforce growth in Sherburne County versus all of Minnesota

St. Cloud State University, offers fully accredited undergraduate business and MBA programs and a Master of Science in Information Assurance. The 100,000 square foot Integrated Science and Engineering Laboratory Facility reflects the university's commitment to research partnerships with business.

Anoka Technical College and St. Cloud Technical and Community College are located just minutes away and offer excellent support for the manufacturing, medical device and information technology sectors.

Employers appreciate Sherburne County’s workforce characteristics

  • Young, growing population
  • Well-educated - 93.7% of the population graduated from high school and over 63% have at least some college; over 25% have a bachelor’s or graduate degree
  • Rich educational resources including electrical and manufacturing engineering, technical college resources and accredited business and MBA programs. A Master of Science in Information Assurance is available at St. Cloud State University.
  • Extensive commuting out of the county for employment - many workers would prefer to work closer to home
  • Innovation index of 95 - reflects a high degree of innovation
  • Wide salary range reflects access to metro managers and rural production workforce

Located on the edge of the metro area, Sherburne County employers enjoy access to scientific, technical and professional workforce attracted to the metro area as well as the stable, productive, rural workforce. This also results in more competitive wage rates. The average hourly wage for manufacturing workers in Sherburne County is 28% lower than in the more urbanized 7-county metro area 15% lower than the nation.

A chart showing weekly wage comparisons between Sherburne County, the seven-county metro and the US

Sherburne County and adjacent counties are expected to enjoy significant labor force growth, even as the overall workforce experiences challenges related to the aging of the baby boom generation.

A chart showing projected labor force changes in Minnesota counties from 2005 to 2035