For the second year in a row, industrial employment in Georgia posted a gain, according to the Georgia Manufacturers Register, an industrial directory published annually by Manufacturers' News Inc. (MNI). MNI reports Georgia gained 7,769 manufacturing jobs from May 2012 to May 2013, or 1.6 percent, which was more than double the gain reported for the 2011-2012 survey period and one percentage point above the national average gain. Georgia is now home to 9,802 manufacturers employing 481,936 workers.

"Georgia's industrial climate continues to improve," says Tom Dubin, president of MNI. "The state's reasonable labor costs and friendly business environment continue to result in many companies investing in its manufacturing sector, particularly those in the auto/transportation equipment industries."

Employment in transportation equipment rose 6.2 percent in Georgia over the survey period and is expected to keep rising with Kia Motors' continued expansion of its West Point facility and Hitachi's plans to expand operations at its Monroe location. Transportation equipment currently employs 40,370 Georgia workers.

Other bright spots for the state included the opening of a Starbucks plant in Augusta and the establishment of FPL Food's beef processing plant in Thomasville.

Food products manufacturing accounts for the most industrial employment in the state with 68,692 jobs. Second-ranked textiles/apparel manufacturing employs 55,262 workers but represents the largest employment decline, down 1.8 percent over the survey period.

Other sectors to gain jobs included instruments/related products, primary metals, printing/publishing, furniture/fixtures, chemicals and rubber/plastics. Losses were seen in lumber/wood and paper products following the closure of Glit/Microtron's facility in Wrens.

MNI's city data shows Atlanta remains Georgia's top city for manufacturing employment with 58,124 industrial jobs. Second-ranked Dalton accounts for 21,367 jobs, while Norcross is home to 18,058 jobs.

For more information, visit www.manufacturersnews.com.