Monday, August 3, 2015

Growth of Manufacturing Jobs Greatest in Michigan

Industrial employment has seen a surge in the United States over the past five years, with the sector adding around 855,000 new jobs — an increase of 7.5 percent.

The factors driving the increase include rising wages in China, which discourages American manufacturing firms from operating there, and the U.S. energy boom fueled by improved drilling techniques (including fracking), which lowers manufacturing costs.

Using Bureau of Labor Statistics data, compiled rankings of 373 large, medium-sized, and small U.S. cities based on their manufacturing jobs.

The rankings take into account manufacturing growth over specified periods: from 2003 to 2014 (long term), 2009 to 2014 (medium term), and the past two years, plus momentum.

At the top of the list for job growth among large cities — those with at least 450,000 nonfarm jobs — is the Detroit metro area. Since 2009, Detroit has seen 31.3 percent growth to 89,300 industrial jobs, due in large part to a flourishing auto industry, and 9.8 percent growth from 2013 to 2014.

In second place is another Michigan metro, Warren-Troy in the Detroit suburbs, which has seen 38.8 percent growth since 2009 including 5.1 percent in the last two years.

Yet another Michigan metro takes third place — Grand Rapids, which has seen 27.9 percent growth from 2009 to 2014 and now has 104,000 manufacturing jobs, according to

Growth in the auto industry has also fueled employment in the Nashville, Tenn., metro, No. 4 on the list with 23.9 percent growth from 2009 to 2014.

Rounding out the top 10 metros, in order, are: Albany, N.Y.; Oklahoma City, Okla.; Louisville, Ky.; Kansas City, Mo.; Houston, Texas, and Portland, Ore.

America's three largest metros have seen a loss of manufacturing jobs in recent years. Los Angeles ranks No. 59 among the 70 large metros, with a 2.9 percent decline in those jobs from 2009 to 2014; Chicago is No. 60 with a 1.5 percent decline — including a 0.8 percent drop in the last two years; and New York is No. 62 with a 3.3 percent decline.

New Orleans is at the bottom of the list with a 15.3 percent decline since 2009.

Among medium-sized cities — those with 150,000 to 450,000 jobs — Toledo, Ohio, is No. 1 with growth of 27.4 percent from 2009 to 2014, followed by Savannah, Ga., and Baton Rouge, La.

For small cities with less than 150,000 jobs, Madera, Calif., is No. 1 with a 59.8 percent job growth, followed by Naples, Fla., and Sebastian-Vero Beach, Fla.

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