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Best and Worst Cities for Mfg Job Growth

Forbes writers looked at employment going back to 2005 and assigned a score to each major metro area.

Earlier this week, Forbes contributors Joel Kotkin and Mike Shires took a look at the state of the job market as it relates to manufacturing and came to the following conclusion: “despite all the concerns raised about factory jobs leaving the country, all but 18 of the country’s 70 largest metropolitan regions have seen an uptick in industrial employment since 2011.”

To determine the places where manufacturing growth is the strongest, the duo looked at employment going back to 2005 and assigned a score to each major metro area. So where were the big winners and losers?

The award for the area that has grown the most in manufacturing employment since 2005 is Louisville-Jefferson County, which straddles the border between Kentucky and Indiana. The writers say that manufacturing employment in the area has expanded a whopping 30% to a total of 83,300 jobs, led by a resurgent auto industry.

Others in the top ten include many of what the authors refer to as “Rust Belt” states. Three of the metro areas in the top ten actually are in Michigan, with No. 5 Warren-Troy-Farmington Hills, Mich., and No. 10 Detroit-Dearborn-Livonia accounting for 245,000 manufacturing jobs – a gain of about 40,000 since the economic recession, and near the area’s pre-recession level of 253,000.

Even regulation heavy California got close to the top ten, with the Oakland-Hayward-Berkeley metro area seeing a 12.7% jump in industrial jobs since 2011, and coming in at #13.

By contrast, California’s Los Angeles-Glendale-Long Beach region – currently home to the most industrial jobs in the nation – has lost 3 ½ percent of its industrial jobs since 2011. Other struggling areas were Chicago, Houston, Oklahoma City and New Orleans.

But in general, the authors suggest that despite a recent slowdown in the automotive industry, manufacturing job counts continue to expand country-wide, albeit more slowly than before.

I’m Anna Wells and this is IEN Now.

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