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For the third year in a row, industrial employment in Nebraska posted a gain, according to the 2014 Nebraska Manufacturers Register, an industrial directory published annually by Manufacturers' News Inc. (MNI). MNI reports Nebraska gained 1,731 manufacturing jobs from July 2012 to July 2013 and is now home to 2,765 manufacturers employing 123,505 workers.
"Nebraska ranks as a great place to do business," says Tom Dubin, president of MNI. "The state continues to regain the industrial employment lost during the recession and at a quicker pace than many other states thanks to its friendly business environment, low taxes and abundant natural resources."
Bright spots for the state included biotech giant Monsanto's announcement of its plans to expand a seed processing plant in Waco and the recent news that the previously shuttered Local Pride kosher meat-processing plant in Gordon will be reopened by Open Range Beef. In addition, pet medicine maker Zoetis announced an expansion of its plant in Lincoln. AGP will also expand a soybean processing plant in Hastings, while Japanese electrical equipment maker Morio Denki recently announced plans to open its first U.S. operations in Lincoln.
Food products manufacturing accounts for the most industrial employment in the state with 38,659 jobs, followed by industrial machinery and equipment manufacturing with 12,372 workers.
Nebraska's industrial employment gains were spread out across most sectors including textiles/apparel, stone/clay/glass, primary metals, electronics, transportation equipment and chemicals. Losses were seen in fabricated metals, lumber/wood and instruments/related products.
Industrial locations announcing closures included Leprino Foods, which plans to close a cheese plant in Ravenna and transfer production to another plant in Colorado.
MNI's city data shows Omaha remains Nebraska's top city for manufacturing employment with 33,558 industrial jobs. Lincoln was second with 17,487 jobs, followed by Grand Island with 8,067 jobs.
For more information, visit www.manufacturersnews.com.