Iowa Gains Manufacturing Jobs for Fourth Consecutive Year

Noria news wires

Manufacturing employment increased in Iowa for a fourth straight year, according to the 2015 Iowa Manufacturers Register, an industrial database and directory published by Manufacturers’ News Inc. (MNI).

MNI reports Iowa manufacturers added 2,204 jobs from February 2014 to February 2015. Industrial employment in the state has risen 4 percent since February 2011, recovering 41 percent of jobs lost during the recession but lagging behind the national average increase of 5.8 percent reported by the Labor Department for the same time period. Iowa is now home to 5,291 manufacturers employing 269,067 workers.

“With its low business costs, access to capital and diverse economy, manufacturers continue to find Iowa a great place to do business,” says Tom Dubin, MNI president. “However, the state could benefit from greater workforce initiatives, as many manufacturing positions go unfilled due to a lack of skilled workers.”

Gains were led by the industrial machinery and fabricated metals sectors, which ranked second and third, respectively, for the number of Iowa factory jobs. Employment in industrial machinery manufacturing rose 3.4 percent over the year, and employment in the fabricated metals sector climbed 2.9 percent. The chemicals sector also posted a gain, up 12.4 percent, as did electronics and transportation equipment.

Cedar Rapids reported a 4.9-percent increase over the year and ranks as Iowa’s largest city by manufacturing employment with 21,085 jobs. Manufacturing employment also rose 1 percent in Davenport but declined 3.8 percent in Dubuque and fell 1.6 percent in Des Moines.

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