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University of Minnesota Extension

St. Cloud household refrigeration and home freezer manufacturing plant closure

Key findings for communities


  • The loss of 860 workers will affect an estimated 1,800 jobs in Stearns, Sherburne, and Benton counties. This is predicted to cause a decline in economic output of an estimated $670.1 million in these counties, including an estimated $102.6 million of lost labor income.
  • Main Street businesses will see jobs affected as plant workers have less disposable income.
  • Businesses supplying the plant, such as wholesalers and trucking companies, will be affected. 
  • Demographic data indicates some Electrolux workers may face difficulties in career transitions because of age and skill development. Finding jobs that provide comparable compensation may also be a challenge.


  • The relatively tight labor market may provide an opportunity for workers to obtain new employment if conditions persist into 2019. This may dissipate effects quickly. Business-to-business transactions, however, may linger. 

About this study

On January 30, 2018, Electrolux announced the closure of its manufacturing facility in St. Cloud, Minnesota. The plant currently has 860 employees. These jobs will be lost once Electrolux completes its planned closure in 2019. Electrolux plans to invest in its Tennessee and South Carolina plants. Upright freezer production will move to South Carolina. There will likely be few viable opportunities for local workers at the Electrolux facility to relocate to South Carolina. St. Cloud area decision makers will benefit from timely information regarding the potential economic impact of the closure.

In response, University of Minnesota Extension and the St. Cloud State University School of Public Affairs Research Institute have prepared this economic emergency report. It is supported by the EDA Center at the University of Minnesota-Crookston.

More about this report

Read full report (PDF)


Brigid Tuck, senior economic impact analyst, Extension; King Banaian, dean, SCSU School of Public Affairs; Richard MacDonald, interim director, SCSU School of Public Affairs Research Institute;  Neil Linscheid, educator, Extension

Reviewed in 2018

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