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Industrial employment in Wisconsin fell 2.5 percent over the past 12 months according to the 2011 Wisconsin Manufacturers Register, an industrial directory published annually by Manufacturers’ News Inc. MNI reports Wisconsin lost 15,223 industrial jobs and 154 manufacturers between June 2009 and June 2010, roughly half the loss reported for the state by MNI over the 2008-2009 survey period.
Manufacturers’ News reports Wisconsin is now home to 11,872 manufacturers employing 580,184 workers.
“The recession continues to affect Wisconsin’s manufacturing sector, particularly industrial machinery and industries reliant on the housing market. But we’re definitely seeing fewer job losses than we did a year ago,” says Tom Dubin, president of the Evanston, Ill.-based publishing company, which has been surveying industry since 1912.”
MNI reports industrial machinery and equipment remains the state’s largest manufacturing sector by employment, with 100,743 jobs, down 4.7 percent over the past 12 months following layoffs at Manitowoc Cranes, Karl Schmidt Unisia and Cequent Performance Products, among others. Fabricated metal products ranks second with 65,254 manufacturing jobs, down 2.9 percent over the survey period. Third-ranked food products accounts for 64,219 industrial jobs, down 2.1 percent over the past year.
Other industrial sectors that lost jobs over the past 12 months included lumber and wood, down 10.3 percent, due partially to closures at Aacer Flooring and Wick Building Systems. Employment in printing/publishing declined 7.7 percent; furniture/fixtures fell 5.6 percent; primary metals were down 5.2 percent; electronics declined 3.2 percent and textiles/apparel fell 3 percent.
Employment in transportation equipment and rubber and plastics remained steady over the year, while employment in chemicals manufacturing rose 3.2 percent and paper products increased 2.1 percent, according to MNI.
Additional bright spots for the state include the opening of a CalStar Products facility in Caledonia, which will produce environmentally friendly residential and commercial bricks; the expansion of Marini Tool and Die in Racine; the planned openings of Northwest Asphalt Products in Racine County and American Micro Detection Systems in Milwaukee; and the planned expansions of Kimberly Clark in Menasha and Palermo Villa Inc. in Milwaukee.
Manufacturers’ News reports Southeast Wisconsin accounts for more than half of the state’s industrial employment, with 313,412 jobs, down 3.1 percent over the year. Central Wisconsin accounts for 181,646 industrial jobs, down 2.4 percent over the year, while Southwest Wisconsin accounts for 49,037, up 3.3 percent over the past 12 months. Northern Wisconsin is home to 36,089 manufacturing workers, down 5.8 percent over the past 12 months.
MNI’s city data shows Milwaukee is Wisconsin’s top city for manufacturing employment, home to 56,013 jobs, down 4.7 percent over the year. Second-ranked Green Bay accounts for 22,894 jobs, with no significant employment change reported over the year. Madison is home to 18,066 industrial jobs, down 4.8 percent over the year, while industrial employment in Waukesha was virtually unchanged over the survey year, and is currently home to 17,256 manufacturing jobs. Appleton is home to 14,167, down 3.2 percent over the past 12 months.