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North Carolina added manufacturing jobs for a seventh straight year, according to information collected by Manufacturers' News Inc. (MNI). MNI reports the state gained 9,058 manufacturing jobs in 2017, an increase of 1.6 percent.
Over the past seven years, North Carolina has added 29,204 manufacturing jobs, recovering nearly 30 percent of the jobs lost during the recession. Currently, 9,702 manufacturers employ 573,006 in the state.
"With its skilled labor pool and top-notch incentive programs, as well as its low business costs and abundance of shovel-ready sites, North Carolina has wide-ranging appeal for manufacturers," says Tom Dubin, MNI president. "However, trade uncertainty could affect some of the state’s manufacturers in the years ahead, especially those reliant on imported steel and aluminum."
Manufacturing job gains in North Carolina were led by the transportation equipment industry, which added approximately 6 percent to its workforce and ranks as the state’s fourth-largest sector by number of industrial jobs, employing 43,975.
Industrial machinery, which ranks first in the state for number of manufacturing jobs, rose 1.3 percent to 63,176 workers, while second-ranked food processing rose a half percent to 61,446.
Third-ranked textiles/apparel saw another year of losses, down 1.6 percent to 54,046 jobs, due partially to the closures of DuraFiber Technologies’ textile facilities in Grover and Hickory, as well as the closure of Cone Denim’s 110-year-old plant in Greensboro. However, losses in the sector were offset by Fiber Innovators International’s acquisition of DuraFiber’s shuttered Grover plant.
Additional gains were recorded in the instruments/related products sector, furniture/fixtures, paper products and fabricated metals.
Aside from textiles/apparel, employment losses were recorded in printing/publishing and rubber/plastics.
Several companies announced new operations in the state, including Chinese tire manufacturer Triangle Tyre Co., which unveiled plans to establish a major tire plant near Rocky Mount. Other new additions to the state included MKT Metal Mfg. in Wilson, EGGER Wood Products in Triad, Carrol Poultry in Bladenboro and Quality Enclosures in Ablemarle.
Charlotte remains the state’s top city for industrial employment, accounting for 45,292 jobs. Employment in second-ranked Greensboro fell 3.3 percent to 27,603, with no significant change reported in third-ranked Research Triangle Park at 15,259 jobs.
For more information, visit www.mni.net.