Maryland/D.C. Manufacturing Employment Remained Steady Over Past Year According to Industrial Directory

Industrial employment in Maryland/D.C. changed little over the past twelve months, declining by less than one percent, according to the 2012 Maryland/D.C. Manufacturers Directory, an industrial directory published annually by Manufacturers' News, Inc. (MNI) Evanston, IL. MNI reports Maryland/D.C. lost 1,348 industrial jobs and 56 manufacturers between May 2010 and May 2011, after posting a decline of 3.3% over the 2009-2010 survey period.

Manufacturers' News reports Maryland and the D.C. Metro Area is now home to 4,900 manufacturers employing 186,745 workers.

"The recovery is gaining momentum in Maryland and across the U.S.," says Tom Dubin, President of the Evanston, IL-based publishing company, which has been surveying industry since 1912. "Maryland boasts an educated workforce and the state's investments in innovative technologies continue to pay off."

Bright spots over the year include the opening of an Avon Protection Systems location in Belcamp; AC Wind's proposed opening of a wind blade manufacturing facility in Salisbury; the expected opening of GM's new electric motor plant in White Marsh; and Pacific Trade International's new Chesapeake Bay Candle factory in Glen Burnie. Marlin Steel Wire announced an expansion at their Baltimore facility; Old Line Custom Meat Company opened a new meat-processing plant; and Maryland Biofuel expanded production at its Baltimore plant.  

According to the industrial directory, printing and publishing remains the region's largest manufacturing sector, accounting for 34,343 industrial jobs, down 3.4% over the past twelve months. Electronics manufacturing accounts for another 22,858 manufacturing jobs, with no significant change reported over the year. Third-ranked industrial machinery and equipment manufacturing employs 18,519 workers, with the number of jobs virtually unchanged over the past twelve months.

Sectors that lost jobs included lumber/wood, down 4.8%; stone/clay/glass down 4.5%; furniture/fixtures down 3.3%; and rubber/plastics down 2.2%. Employment remained steady in chemicals, fabricated metals, textiles/apparel, paper products, transportation equipment and food products, while primary metals posted a gain of 4.6%.

Losses for the state included the closure of auto parts maker Marada Industries in Westminster, the shuttering of Baltimore's Pepsi plant, and the loss of BP Solar's facility in Frederick.

Manufacturers' News reports the Central Maryland/District of Columbia area accounts for the most industrial employment in the region, with 149,185 jobs, virtually unchanged over the past twelve months. Western Maryland represents 19,519 industrial jobs, down 1%, while employment in Eastern Maryland remained steady over the year and is currently home to 18,041 workers.

MNI's city data shows Baltimore remains the region's top city for manufacturing employment with 32,560 industrial workers, down 8.8% over the past 12 months. Washington, D.C. accounts for 17,110 jobs, up a half percent over the past year. Linthicum ranks third in the region with 7,721 industrial workers, with no significant change reported over the year. Columbia saw industrial employment increase 1.5% over the year and now ranks fourth with 6,003 industrial jobs. Fifth-ranked Frederick accounts for 5,394 jobs, virtually unchanged from a year ago.  

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