2012 Economic Contribution of Telecommunication Companies Serving Greater Minnesota


Residents of Greater Minnesota receive telecommunications services from a variety of providers; and this industry is undergoing rapid change and evolution. Increasing challenges and pressures facing the telecommunications industry has led the Minnesota Telecommunications Alliance (MTA) to pose the question of “What is  the economic contribution of telecommunication companies serving Greater Minnesota”. The Center for Rural Policy and Development provided the MTA with assistance in answering this question.

In 2011, the University of Minnesota Extension  conducted a survey of the members of the MTA. This study focuses on the economic contribution of telecommunication companies with customers in Greater Minnesota. The survey results were used to calculate the economic contribution of the industry. Results indicate that the total estimated economic contribution of the telecommunications industry serving Greater Minnesota, in 2011, was $1.3 billion.

As a partner/sponsor of this publication, the Center for Rural Policy and Development is proud to provide the full report. To download the full report click on the link below:



The Center for Rural Policy and Development has collaborated with the University of Minnesota Extension Center for Community Vitality to prepare a summary of Greater Minnesota’s Local Telephone Industry for the Minnesota Telecom Alliance.

Click on the link below for a downloadable version of the Talking Points.

Researchers with the University of Minnesota Extension Center for Community Vitality invited the 48 telecommunications holding companies serving customers in Greater Minnesota to participate in a confidential survey; 16 responded. Through the data collected, they were able to estimate the industry’s contribution to the state’s economy in 2011 in terms of expenditures, employment and taxes.

  • Direct effects: The telecommunications industry serving Greater Minnesota directly spent an estimated $870 million in 20 These expenditures included operations, wages and salaries, and capital improvements.
  • Workforce: The telecommunications industry serving Greater Minnesota employed an estimated 4,500 individuals in 2011. Of the industry’s expenditures, an estimated $370 million went to labor. Telecom companies also contracted directly with companies employing another estimated 1,800 workers, paying them an additional estimated $80 million.
  • Indirect effects: Suppliers employed an estimated 600 people in 2011 to provide goods and services directly to the telecommunications industry. Many of the suppliers to telecom companies in Greater Minnesota are also located in Greater Minnesota.
  • Spin­off effects: Spending by telecom companies and their employees produced spin-off spending (indirect and induced effects) in the Minnesota economy. These indirect and induced effects are estimated to have contributed an additional $440 million in spending within the economy, including an estimated $150 million in labor income.
  • Total effects: The total economic contribution of the telecom industry in 2011 — direct + indirect + induced effects — was an estimated $1.3 billion, including $600 million in labor income to an estimated 10,300 workers.
  • While taxes are not considered in the economic contribution study, telecommunication companies paid an estimated $30 million in property, sales, and income taxes in 2011.