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For the second year in a row, industrial employment in Louisiana posted a gain, according to the 2013 Louisiana Manufacturers Register published by Manufacturers' News Inc. (MNI). MNI reports Louisiana gained 5,685 manufacturing jobs from May 2012 to May 2013, or 2.9 percent, which was more than double the gain reported for the 2011-2012 survey period and two percentage points above the national average gain as reported by the Labor Department. Louisiana is now home to 5,264 manufacturers employing 196,432 workers.
"Louisiana's industrial climate continues to improve," says Tom Dubin, president of MNI. "The state's abundant natural resources and friendly business environment continue to result in many companies investing in its industrial sector, particularly those in the oil and gas and chemicals industries."
Employment in oil and gas extraction rose 17.2 percent in Louisiana over the survey period, with the third-ranking sector currently accounting for 22,824 of the state's industrial jobs. Oil and gas companies that have announced plans to locate facilities in Louisiana included South Africa-based Sasol, which will open a natural gas to diesel plant in Westlake, and Methanex, which recently announced it would open a second ethanol plant in Geismar.
MNI reports employment in Louisiana's chemicals sector increased 1.4 percent and currently ranks first in the state for industrial employment at 25,296 jobs. Bright spots for the chemicals industry included Dyno Nobel's plans to build an ammonia plant in Jefferson Parish, the expansion of Nalco's dry polymer plant in Garyville, the expansion of two ExxonMobil chemical plants in Baton Rouge and Port Allen, and the recent opening of Myriant's biochemical production facility in Lake Providence.
Other sectors to gain jobs included transportation equipment, industrial machinery and equipment, fabricated metals, primary metals, instruments/related products and textiles/apparel. Losses were seen in electronics, printing/publishing, furniture/fixtures, paper products and stone/clay/glass.
Industrial locations closing down included PepsiCo's bottling plant in St. John the Baptist Parish, International Paper's container plant in Minden and Hostess-operated Cotton Brothers Bakery in Alexandria.
MNI's city data shows Baton Rouge remains Louisiana's top city for manufacturing employment, with 15,654 industrial jobs. Second-ranked Houma is home to 10,248 jobs, while Shreveport accounts for 10,245 jobs.
For more information, visit www.manufacturersnews.com.