Manufacturing employment in Georgia rose for a sixth straight year, according to the 2017 Georgia Manufacturers Register, an industrial database and directory published by Manufacturers' News Inc. (MNI).

MNI reports Georgia added 2,188 new manufacturing jobs from May 2015 to May 2016, and is now home to 9,233 manufacturers employing 489,346 workers.

"The past six years have given rise to a nearly 30-percent jump in Georgia's auto sector employment as well as a 5-percent overall gain," says Tom Dubin, MNI president. "An abundance of capital funding, skilled and affordable labor pool, low business costs, as well as ideal infrastructure and global access, have all contributed to the state's success. However, like many otherwise thriving states, gains have slowed over the past year as global competition and a strong dollar continue to challenge growth."

Employment gains were led by the transportation equipment sector, which climbed 2.3 percent over the year. Other Georgia industries gaining jobs included food processing, textiles/apparel, furniture/fixtures, chemicals, primary metals, fabricated metals and industrial machinery. Declines were noted in paper products, printing/publishing, electronics and stone/clay/glass.

Several major Georgia plant openings were announced over the year, including Tokyo-based Toppan Printing, which broke ground on a barrier film manufacturing facility in Griffin; Kumho Tire U.S.A., which unveiled its new facility in Macon; Trident Seafood, which opened a seafood-processing plant in Carrollton; and Israel-based Haifa, which established a fertilizer plant in Savannah.

Among the Georgia industrial sites announcing closures were Mohawk Industries' yarn plant in Chatsworth, Kellogg's snack factory in Columbus and Quad/Graphics' printing site in Evans.

Atlanta ranked first in the state for the number of manufacturing jobs with 59,728 workers, while second-ranked Dalton was home to 22,163 manufacturing jobs.

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