Michigan manufacturing employment climbed for a fifth straight year according to the 2016 Michigan Manufacturers Directory, an industrial database and directory published by Manufacturers' News Inc. (MNI).

MNI reports Michigan gained 17,990 manufacturing jobs from February 2015 to February 2016, and is now home to 13,797 manufacturers employing 686,470 workers.

"Following the precipitous losses suffered during the recession, Michigan has re-established itself as the center of the auto-manufacturing universe," says Tom Dubin, MNI president. "With its abundance of project funding and shovel-ready sites, as well as its skilled labor pool, the state has huge appeal for manufacturers. However, a stronger dollar and soft global demand will continue to offset growth."

The auto industry continues to lead the state's gains, with the transportation equipment sector adding more than 5,000 jobs. The industry also ranks first in the state for manufacturing employment with 138,423 workers.

Bright spots for the industry included the opening of Tesla's new manufacturing facility in Cascade Township, the expansion of Valient International's automotive skeleton plant in Auburn Hills, the opening of supplier Sakthi Automotive Group in Detroit, and the recent establishment of Kamco Industries in Morenci and Liebherr-Aerospace in Saline.

The industrial machinery and fabricated metals sectors also posted strong gains. Industrial machinery and equipment rose 2.6 percent with 130,030 jobs, while employment in the fabricated metals industry climbed 3.6 percent with 82,646 jobs.

Other industries in Michigan seeing job growth over the year included textiles/apparel, chemicals, fabricated metals, primary metals, rubber/plastics and furniture/fixtures.

Only two manufacturing sectors reported notable jobs losses: printing/publishing, which declined 4.6 percent, and electronics, which fell 2.9 percent.

Industrial locations announcing closures included auto supplier Leon Interiors, which closed its Wyoming facility, and Stant Corp., which shuttered its plant in Romero.

Detroit posted a substantial gain in manufacturing jobs over the year, growing 1.2 percent. The city currently ranks third in the state for industrial employment, accounting for 30,369 workers. Grand Rapids ranks first with 47,135 manufacturing jobs, while Auburn Hills is second with 30,527 jobs.

For more information, visit www.mni.net.