Pennsylvania lost 40,000 manufacturing jobs in past year

RP news wires, Noria Corporation

Industrial employment in Pennsylvania fell 4.5 percent over the past 12 months according to the 2010 Pennsylvania Manufacturers Register, an industrial directory published annually by Manufacturers' News Inc. MNI reports Pennsylvania lost 39,891 industrial jobs and 975 manufacturers between June 2008 and June 2009, the sharpest decline MNI has ever reported in the 22 years it has been tracking the state's industry.


Manufacturers' News reports Pennsylvania is now home to 18,294 manufacturers employing 844,738 workers.


"As with the entire nation, the recession continues to hit many of Pennsylvania's core sectors, while the faltering housing market has affected industries such as wood products, furniture and building products," says Tom Dubin, president of the Evanston, Ill.-based publishing company, which has been surveying industry since 1912.


Employment in the lumber and wood sector saw one of the worst drops in employment, down 11.1 percent, following layoffs at Yorktowne Cabinetry and Wood-Mode, and the closure of a large MasterBrand Cabinets facility in Littlestown. The furniture/fixtures sector saw an 8.7 percent decline, according to MNI.


Bright spots for the year include the expansion of BAE Systems' York facility in response to a large defense contract for new MRAP vehicles, JLG's planned rehiring of 500 laid-off Pennsylvania workers in order to fill another large military order, and the expansion of sanitary equipment manufacturer Allegheny Bradford Corporation.


MNI reports employment in industrial machinery and equipment manufacturing fell 4.8 percent over the year, with the sector currently employing 98,998. The fabricated metal products sector ranks second in the state with 89,477 jobs, down 3.7 percent over the year. Third-ranked food products manufacturing represents 84,476 of the state's jobs, down 2 percent over the year.


All industrial sectors in Pennsylvania lost jobs over the year and included textiles/apparel, down 16.4 percent, when auto supplier International Automotive Components closed its facility in Carlisle. Employment in printing/publishing fell 5.6 percent; rubber/plastics was down 5 percent; primary metals down 5 percent; transportation equipment down 1.6 percent; electronics down 4.2 percent; stone/clay/glass down 4.1 percent; paper products down 3 percent; and chemicals/allied products down 2.6 percent.


Manufacturers' News reports Southeast Pennsylvania accounts for the largest share of the state's industrial employment, with 356,279 jobs, or 42 percent. MNI reports the region lost 18,308 jobs over the year, or 4.9 percent. Southwest Pennsylvania saw employment decline 3.4 percent and is currently home to 191,477 jobs while Central Pennsylvania is home to 123,029 industrial workers, 5 percent less than a year ago. Northwest Pennsylvania accounts for 112,261 of the state's industrial jobs, down another 5 percent, while Northeast Pennsylvania is home to 61,694, down 4 percent over the past 12 months.


MNI's city data shows Philadelphia is the state's top city for manufacturing employment, home to 48,608 jobs, with jobs down 5 percent over the year. Second-ranked Pittsburgh accounts for 35,399 jobs, with employment down 2.1 percent over the past 12 months. York is home to 24,350 industrial jobs, down 5.5 percent over the year, while Erie accounts for 21,616 jobs, down 2.8 percent. Allentown is home to 19,379, down 1.6 percent over the past 12 months.

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