Texas and Michigan Top Lists of States Adding Manufacturing Jobs

Feb. 3, 2014
A revitalized auto industry and booming oil & gas industry are likely reasons for manufacturing job increases in multiple states.

Posting in the National Association of Manufacturers association’s Shopfloor blog, NAM chief economist Chad Moutray, said recent state employment data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows manufacturing jobs on the upswing in multiple U.S. states. “Texas added the most manufacturing jobs in December, with Michigan creating the most in 2013,” said Moutray.

Other states with higher manufacturing employment for the month of December include New York (up 3,000), Florida (up 2,200), Georgia (up 2,000), and Minnesota (up 1,700).

For 2013 as a whole, manufacturers added 77,000 net new workers, Moutry said. He called that “a sluggish pace” following the 119,000 net new employees in 2010, 207,000 in 2011 and 154,000 in 2012. “Nonetheless, states with the largest employment growth in 2013 included Michigan (up 16,700), Wisconsin (up 13,100), Texas (up 12,500), Tennessee (up 6,800), and Ohio (up 4,900),” he said.

In terms of the unemployment rate, states with the greatest declines in 2013 were North Carolina (down 2.5 percent), New Jersey (down 2.2 percent), and South Carolina (down 2.0 percent). In December, Rhode Island had the highest unemployment rate (9.1 percent), followed by Nevada (8.8 percent) and Illinois (8.6 percent).

North Dakota continues to have the lowest unemployment rate in the nation (2.6 percent), with South Dakota and Nebraska (3.6 percent for each) closely following.

The data correlates with the “positive indications” for U.S. manufacturing in 2014 and beyond cited by Helmuth Ludwig, CEO of Siemens Industry Sector U.S. Speaking in Detroit in January, Ludwig said, shale gas, and the opportunities that it brings with it, is leading to significant investments in the oil and gas industry. And cheaper gas resources are also pushing investments in other industries.

“In metals technologies, we see investments that I personally would’ve not expected three years ago,” Ludwig said. “In the chemical industry, we expect very, very significant investments. The CEO of Dow has put a list together of about $100 billion in investments that are based on shale gas.”

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