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Indiana manufacturing jobs dropped 2.2 percent in 2007

EVANSTON, Ill., — Industrial employment in Indiana dropped 2.2% over the past 12 months according to the 2008 Indiana Manufacturers Directory, a compilation of state industry published annually by Manufacturers’ News, Inc. (MNI) Evanston, IL. MNI reports Indiana lost 15,118 industrial jobs from March 2007 to March 2008 — comparable to the 2.4% decline MNI reported for the state during the 2006-2007 period and matching the 2.2% loss experienced by the U.S. as a whole within the past 12 months.

“It was a record year for U.S. industrial output and productivity, but improved technology and automation means it requires fewer workers to produce these products,” says Tom Dubin, President of Manufacturers’ News. “The good news is that the industrial jobs that remain tend to pay more because they require engineering and technology skills.”

According to MNI, Indiana ranks 9th in the nation for manufacturing employment and 13th for number of manufacturers. MNI reports industrial employment in Indianapolis improved, moving up two places in MNI’s city ranking to #8 in the nation, surpassing industrial employment in Dallas and St. Louis.

Manufacturers’ News reports Indiana is home to 11,022 manufacturers employing 661,733 workers. MNI profiles manufacturers of all sizes, including small, start-up companies. Indiana’s industrial employment losses reflect those seen across the Midwest, with Michigan jobs down 5%, Illinois down 1.5%, Kentucky down 2.3% and Ohio down 3.1%.

MNI reports Indiana’s auto industry experienced a smaller employment loss of 5% or 4,764 jobs, compared to the 12% loss MNI reported for the sector a year ago. Auto industry jobs currently account for 90,638 of the state’s industrial workers. Major plant closings in this sector include Viseton’s Connersville auto parts plant and a GDX plant in Wabash. As a whole, the transportation equipment sector represents 16% of the state’s manufacturing employment, or 106,806 jobs down 3,710 or 3.4% over the year. Manufacturers of industrial machinery and equipment represent 81,654 of the state’s jobs, with no significant employment change reported over the year. Manufacturers of fabricated metal employ 68,611, down 2.7% over the year.

Other sectors losing employment include lumber and wood, down 5.4%, rubber and miscellaneous plastics, down 4% and primary metals, down 4.1%. Chemicals and allied products were down 2%, due partially to planned cutbacks at drug maker Pfizer’s Terre Haute plant. Employment remained steady in the furniture/fixtures sector, paper/allied products, and electronics. Food products and printing/publishing were each up 1% over the year.

According to MNI, East Central Indiana accounts for the most manufacturing jobs in the state, with 177,173 workers, and lost half as many jobs as the year before, down 5,707 jobs, or 2.1% compared to 9,471 or 5.1% lost in the 2006-2007 period. Northeast Indiana also fared better this year, posting a 1.4% loss of 2,439 jobs compared to a 2.3% loss of 4,455 jobs the year before, and currently accounts for 176,163 of the state’s industrial jobs. Northwest and Southwest Indiana suffered greater losses over last year’s with Northwest Indiana down 4.4% or 4,602 jobs for a total of 99,474 jobs for the region. Southwest Indiana accounts for 79,937 jobs, down 3,617 or 4.3% over the year. Southeast Indiana is home to 70,907 industrial jobs, up a half percent over the year, while West Central Indiana is home to 58,082 manufacturing jobs, with no significant employment change reported.

MNI’s city data shows Indianapolis accounts for 93,696 of the state’s industrial jobs or 14%, up 1,108 jobs or 1.2% over the year. Fort Wayne is home to 28,025 jobs, down 1% over the past 12 months, while Elkhart is down the most at 2,974 jobs, or 9.2% and currently accounts for 29,414 jobs. Evansville accounts for 20,405 industrial jobs, down 1.2%, while Columbus is home to 19,478 workers, up 1.1%.

Detailed profiles of Indiana’s 11,022 manufacturers and 1,049 industrial distributors can be found in the 2008 Indiana Manufacturers Directory, available in print for $134 and on CD-ROM from $208. Each profile provides up to 30 facts, including vital contact information (phone, web, e-mail), names and titles of 36,840 key executives, product(s) manufactured, annual sales, number of employees, and more. Visitors to may generate custom company selections using thirteen different criteria, including area or zip code, county, SIC, sales volume, number of employees, and more.

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