Utah manufacturing jobs declined 1% over past 12 months

RP news wires

Industrial employment in Utah fell just 1 percent over the past 12 months according to the 2011 Utah Manufacturers Directory, an industrial directory published annually by Manufacturers' News Inc. MNI reports Utah lost 1,548 industrial jobs and 89 manufacturers between August 2009 and August 2010, a significantly smaller decline than the 4,946 jobs MNI reported lost over the 2008-2009 survey period.

Manufacturers' News reports Utah is now home to 3,897 manufacturers employing 157,407 workers.

"Utah consistently ranks among the top states in which to do business, so it's no surprise that the state has fared better than many others," says Tom Dubin, president of the Evanston, Ill.-based publishing company, which has been surveying industry since 1912. "Utah's strong exports, educated workforce and favorable business climate should continue to improve the outlook."

Bright spots for the state include the planned opening of a second Alliant Techsystems factory in Clearfield, which will manufacture aircraft component structures; the planned opening of a Janicki Industries facility in Layton, which will produce composite parts for aircraft; the expansion of Northrop Grumman's plant in Salt Lake City; and the planned expansion of heart valve manufacturer Edwards Lifesciences in Draper.

Sectors related to the housing industry experienced some of the sharpest declines with lumber/wood down 13 percent, following the closure of Cabinetec Inc.'s St. George facility, among others. Stone /clay/glass decreased 6.5 percent, while furniture/fixtures fell 3.6 percent.

Utah's larger industries fared better with employment in food products manufacturing steady over the year. Food products currently accounts for the greatest share of the state's industrial employment with 18,679 jobs. Employment in industrial machinery and equipment fell 2.7 percent, with the second-ranked sector currently employing 15,193. Third-ranked chemical manufacturing increased employment by 3.6 percent and currently accounts for 14,161 industrial jobs.

Industrial sectors that lost jobs within the past year included paper products, down 6.2 percent; rubber/plastics, down 4.6 percent; furniture/fixtures, down 3.6 percent; and primary metals, down 3.5 percent. Employment remained steady in transportation equipment and fabricated metals, while electronics saw a gain of 6.8 percent and textiles/apparel, a 3.3 percent increase.

Manufacturers' News reports Northern Utah accounts for the most manufacturing employment in the state with 145,761 jobs, or 93 percent. Southern Utah accounts for 6,204 industrial jobs, while Central Utah accounts for 5,442.

MNI's city data shows Salt Lake City is Utah's top city for manufacturing employment, home to 49,088 jobs, down 2.4 percent over the year. Second-ranked Ogden accounts for 14,813 jobs, with no significant employment change reported. Industrial employment in Logan increased 7.5 percent over the past 12 months and is currently home to 10,108 industrial workers. Clearfield accounts for 6,501 industrial jobs, down 2.8 percent over the year, while Provo accounts for 5,515 jobs, down 1.3 percent.

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