U.S. Industrial Jobs Decline, Houston Tops List for Manufacturing Employment

Jan. 11, 2011
Data compiled by Manufacturers’ News, a publisher of industrial directories, provides a state-by-state look at industrial employment.

Industrial employment in the United States fell by 4.1 percent between 2009 and 2010, while the number of U.S. manufacturers fell by 3.3 percent, based on data complied by Manufacturers’ News Inc. (MNI www.manufacturersnews.com), an Evanston, Ill.-based published of industrial directories for all 50 states. The analysis comes from a comparison of data collected by the most recent editions of MNI’s directories to each state’s previous editions. The data was detailed in a Dec. 29 MNI press release.

According to Manufacturers’ News most recent editions, there are 357,862 manufacturers employing 16,257,226 that currently operate in the United States. This compares to 370,230 manufacturers and 16,957,982 workers recorded by the previous editions.

Top cities

Manufacturers’ News also used the latest directory data to compile a list of top cities for industrial employment as of yearend 2010. According to MNI, Houston takes the top spot for industrial employment with 228,226 manufacturing jobs, followed by New York with 139,127 jobs, Chicago with 108,692 and Los Angeles with 83,719. The list shows that five of the top fifty cities are located in California (Los Angeles, San Diego, San Jose, Irvine and Santa Clara), while four of the top fifty are located in Texas (Houston, Dallas, Fort Worth, San Antonio and Austin).

MNI, which has been publishing manufacturing directories since 1912, relies on yellow pages, trade journals, financial reports, and other sources in an effort to pinpoint every manufacturing establishment in the United States. Each manufacturer is contacted throughout the year to update their profiles, including their employee counts, the company says.

The company cites automation as a factor in the nationwide decline in manufacturing jobs. “Technology has driven down manufacturing employment,” says Tom Dubin, president of Manufacturers' News. “Even as demand and production return to pre-recession levels, fewer employees are needed in the manufacturing process because of automation and robotics.  Highly skilled workers trained in today's technology will continue to be in great demand, but the days of well paid low-skilled assembly line workers are gone forever.”

According to MNI, Michigan topped the list of states that lost the most industrial employment, with a decline of 79,101 jobs. California was a close second at 78,723 lost jobs. North Carolina's industrial jobs fell 51,831; Indiana 39,451; and Florida 38,278. States that lost the least number of jobs included Alaska (-31); Hawaii (-754); North Dakota (-1,028) Wyoming (-1,028); and West Virginia (-1,403).

Florida losses

MNI reports that Florida lost the most manufacturers (-932); followed by Michigan (-913); California (-819); North Carolina (-710); and Illinois (-699). North Dakota was the only state to gain manufacturers, up by 14 plants or 1.1%. States that lost the fewest manufacturers included Alaska (-7 ); Hawaii (-15); Nebraska (-15); and Idaho (-29). State by state reports can be seen here.

To compile its yearend 2010 list of top cities for industrial employment, Manufacturers’ News included data only for establishments located within city limits. Each municipality is counted separately from its suburbs and exurbs.

Cities that registered notable changes since MNI last compiled the list in August 2008 included Detroit, now at 45th place after falling from 29th place; Seattle, which has moved up to 34th place from 46th place in 2008, and St. Louis, which overtook Cincinnati as the nation's fifth-largest city by industrial employment, and is currently home to 83,123 industrial jobs.

Since August 2008, the nation’s top 10 industrial cities have lost a total of 95,805 manufacturing jobs or 8.4%, according to MNI. The full list of cities can be seen here.

In addition to compiling manufacturing directories, guides, statistics and databases for all 50 states, Manufacturers’ News also maintains IndustryNet.com, an industrial search engine designed for locating manufacturers and suppliers nationwide. Manufacturers’ News Inc.www.manufacturersnews.com

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