Manufacturing employment in Texas surged in the past year, with more than 20,000 industrial jobs added, according to Manufacturers' News Inc. (MNI). MNI reports manufacturers in Texas added 21,513 jobs between May 2017 and May 2018. Texas’ 21,385 manufacturers now employ 1,241,379 in the state, ranking it first in the nation for both the number of manufacturers and manufacturing jobs.
"With one of the best tax climates in the nation as well as a strong workforce and solid infrastructure, Texas remains a top destination for manufacturers across multiple industries, from biotech to food processing," says Tom Dubin, MNI president. "In addition, now that oil prices are on the rise, the state’s oil/gas industry is beginning to recover from the recent downturn. However, uncertainty over import tariffs continues to concern many manufacturers, especially those who rely on raw material imports for the production of goods."
Industrial job gains were led by the oil and gas sector, which edged up for the first time in three years and now ranks second in the state for industrial jobs, employing 138,980. Employment in the petroleum products industry also surged, up 8.3 percent to 52,632 industrial jobs. Other industrial sectors adding jobs included transportation equipment, furniture/fixtures, instruments/related products, electronics, food processing and fabricated metals.
A number of new Texas plant openings were announced over the year, such as the new Medline manufacturing facility in Laredo and LaModerna’s 150,000-square-foot pasta plant in Cleburne. Some major investments were also made in the state’s biotech industry, including the establishment of Fujifilm Diosynth Biotechnology’s gene therapy flexible manufacturing facility in College Park, and the founding of the world’s largest cell and gene therapy plant by Switzerland-based drugmaker Lonza in Pearland. In addition, Yara and BASF announced a joint venture to establish a massive ammonia production facility in Freeport, while Japan-based Nissei unveiled plans to open a plastic injection-molding plant in San Antonio.
These gains were offset by losses in the industrial machinery sector, which ranks first in the state for manufacturing jobs, employing 164,183. That industry shed 1.4 percent of its workforce over the year. Additional losses were reported in primary metals, printing/publishing, lumber/wood and textiles/apparel.
Texas industrial sites announcing closures over the past year included Ventech Engineers International in Pasadena, Gulf Marine Fabricators in Aransas Pass and Beauticontrol Cosmetics in Carollton.
Houston ranks first both in the state and the nation for the number of manufacturing jobs, with 257,721 workers. Second-ranked Fort Worth accounts for 68,377 jobs, while third-ranked Dallas is home to 67,463 workers.
For more information, visit www.mni.net.