Northland Connection Rolls Out Leading Employer Table, New Cost of Living Data

After the property database, one of the most visited features on Northland Connection website is its table of leading employers in the region. This table is more of a challenge to keep up than one might expect. Tools such as AtoZ Databases (available through resources such as the Duluth Public Library) and its competitors in data aggregation offer numbers, but careful parsing encounters regular reporting errors, and their results may not be comprehensive. Our friends at Business North publish private sector lists annually, but do not cover the public sector and sometimes don’t hear back when they request updates. It has also taken on added challenges in 2020, as many major employers have gone through periods of furloughs and layoffs due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The updated version of the table is our best effort to track down the most accurate information possible in this ever-changing environment.

We’ve also updated our cost of living table with the latest data from Sperling’s Best Places, a national leader in quality of life data aggregation. There’s always more to this story, though, and Northspan’s latest research will get into some of the ways we can better explain where our advantages in some of these areas come from. We also recognize that, though some factors such as housing may be affordable in some communities, it may not mean these properties are desirable. Have ideas you want to share, or want to learn more? Contact Karl Schuettler at