Massachusetts Gained Manufacturing Jobs Over Past Year

Industrial employment in Massachusetts increased a half percent over the past twelve months according to the 2012 Massachusetts Manufacturers Register®, an industrial directory published annually by Manufacturers' News, Inc. (MNI) Evanston, IL. Manufacturers' News reports Massachusetts gained 1,478 industrial jobs between August 2010 and August 2011, in sharp contrast to the 1.2% drop recorded by MNI over the 2009-2010 survey period, and the 6.4% lost between August 2008 and August 2009.

Manufacturers' News reports Massachusetts is now home to 8,715 manufacturers employing 368,171 workers.

"We continue to see manufacturing sector gains in Massachusetts and across the U.S.," says Tom Dubin, President of the Evanston, IL-based publishing company, which has been surveying industry since 1912. "The state's educated workforce and investments in innovative technologies, as well as its access to capital have been a draw for a variety of enterprises."

Bright spots for the state include the openings of AFL's new R&D facility in Lowell and Agreen Energy's biogas-fired power plant in Rutland. Solectria Renewables expanded their PV inverter factory in Lawrence, while J.S.B Industries established a second baking facility, also in Lawrence.

MNI reports the state's three largest sectors by employment added or retained jobs over the year. Industrial machinery and equipment is Massachusetts' top sector by industrial employment with 47,985 jobs, up 2.3% over the year. Electronics/electrical equipment ranks as the state's second-largest industrial sector by employment with 46,764 manufacturing jobs, virtually unchanged from a year ago. Third-ranked instruments and related products accounts for 46,706 industrial jobs, up a half percent. Additional gains were seen in primary metals, up 3.7% and fabricated metals, up 1%.

Industrial sectors that lost jobs over the past year included rubber/plastics, down 5.6%, due partially to the closures of Sonoco Products' packaging plant in Devens, and Solo Cup's facility in North Andover. Stone/clay/glass declined 3.4%; lumber/wood, fell 3.3%; and employment in paper products declined 1.6%, following the closure of a National Envelope facility in Worcester.

Manufacturers' News reports Central Massachusetts accounts for the most manufacturing employment in the state with 160,617 jobs, up 1.6% over the past year. The Northeast region accounts for the second most at 108,509 jobs, down 1.4%. The Southeast region is home to 53,305 industrial workers, up 1.3%, while Western Massachusetts is home to 45,740, with no significant change reported.

MNI's city data shows Boston remains Massachusetts' top city for manufacturing employment, home to 11,406 jobs, up 1.3% over the year. Second-ranked Andover accounts for 11,267 jobs, up a half percent. Worcester is home to 9,407 industrial jobs, down 3% over the year, while industrial employment in Waltham increased a half percent over the survey year, and is currently home to 8,848 manufacturing jobs. Framingham is home to 8,227 jobs, with no significant change reported over the past twelve months.

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