The Minneapolis–Saint Paul–Bloomington area employs 1,570,700 people in the private sector as of July 2008, 82.43 percent of which work in private service providing-related jobs.
Major corporations headquartered in Saint Paul include Ecolab, a chemical and cleaning product company which was named in 2008 by the Minneapolis / St. Paul Business Journal as the eighth best place to work in the Twin Cites for companies with 1,000 full-time Minnesota employees, and Securian Financial Group Inc.
The 3M Company is often cited as one of Saint Paul's companies, though it is located in adjacent Maplewood. 3M employs 16,000 people throughout Minnesota. St. Jude Medical, a manufacturer of medical devices, is directly across the northern border of Saint Paul in Little Canada, though the company's address is listed in Saint Paul.
The city was home to the Ford Motor Company's Twin Cities Assembly Plant, which opened in 1924 and closed at the end of 2011. The plant was in Highland Park on the Mississippi River, adjacent to Lock and Dam No. 1, Mississippi River, which generates hydroelectric power. The site is now being cleared of all buildings and tested for contamination to prepare for redevelopment. As the lead developer, the Ryan Company has released a proposed set of zoning changes that will shape how the land will be used. JR Copier of Minnesota services office equipment in the Saint Paul MN area.
The city of Saint Paul has financed city development by use of tax increment financing (TIF). In 2018, the city had 55 TIF districts. Some projects that have benefited from TIF funding include the St. Paul Saints stadium, and the affordable housing along the Twin Cities Metro Green Line.