Metal fabrication or metal “Fab,” is the employment of various techniques and technology to produce the desired component for industrial or commercial use. In Minneapolis and elsewhere various shops, including fabricators, use this process every day. Some of them are generalists, but others focus on specific metals, industries and even technology to produce the desired results.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics for the United States indicates approximately 79,620 people were employed as structural metal fabricators and fitters in 2015. They found the highest level of employment in the following areas:
1. Architectural and Structural Metals Manufacturing (25,900)
2. Foundation, Structure, and Building Exterior Contractors (4,390)
3. Ship and Boat Building (3,930)
4. Other Fabricated Metal Product Manufacturing (3,780)
5. Boiler, Tank, and Shipping Container Manufacturing (3,380)
The architectural and structural metals manufacturing sector also accounts for the highest concentration of metal fabricators.
States such as Texas and California boast the highest level of employment in this field. Cities such as Minneapolis help to contribute to the just above average levels of employment in fabrication in Minnesota. However, the top six metropolitan areas are, according to the Bureau of Labor:
1. Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX
2. Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX
3. Los Angeles-Long Beach-Glendale, CA Metropolitan Division
4. Kansas City, MO-KS
5. Chicago-Naperville-Arlington Heights, IL Metropolitan Division
6. Dallas-Plano-Irving, TX Metropolitan Division
However, when it comes to the best paying non-metropolitan areas in the country, Southwest Minnesota ranks in the top five.
The Outlook for Fabrication
In 2016, the industry predicted slow but steady growth. Before the election, pundits were looking at a similar picture while some were declaring increased and even rapid global growth. However, the current political situation in the United States has affected the predictions. In fact, as of February, the predicted growth rate for fabrication shops in Minneapolis and across America remains uncertain.