PRNewswire/ -- /Manufacturers' News, Inc./ -- Industrial employment in Georgia dropped another 2.3% over the past 12 months according to the 2009 Georgia Manufacturers Register, a compilation of state industry published annually by Manufacturers' News, Inc. (MNI) Evanston, IL. The directory reports Georgia lost 12,838 industrial jobs from April 2007 to April 2008, nearly identical to the 2.2% drop MNI reported for the state over the 2006-2007 period.
According to earlier MNI reports, Georgia's industrial employment held steady between April 2005 and April 2006, and then dropped by 12,771 jobs over the 2006-2007 survey period. Georgia's losses were comparable to neighboring states, with Florida down 2% and Alabama down 2.2%, and to declines felt throughout the Southeast over the past year, with MNI reporting losses for every state in the region.
"Even though manufacturing activity is at a record high, outsourcing, consolidation and increased technology have contributed to industrial employment declines across the nation," says Tom Dubin, President of Manufacturers' News, which has been surveying U.S. industry since 1912.
Manufacturers' News reports Georgia is home to 11,408 manufacturers employing 556,770 workers. Georgia now ranks 12th in the nation for number of manufacturing jobs. MNI profiles manufacturers of all sizes, including small, start-up companies with just a few employees.
According to the 2009 industrial guide, Georgia's textiles and apparel sector took the largest hit over the year, losing 5,258 related jobs or 6%, and currently accounts for 15% of the state's industrial employment, or 81,878 jobs. MNI reported a similar 7% loss for this sector from April 2006-April 2007. Food products manufacturing accounts for 71,463 industrial jobs, down 1.2% over the past 12 months. Industrial machinery and equipment, Georgia's third largest sector, accounts for 48,134 jobs, and was one of the few to increase employment, up 2.9% over the year.
The Register reports Georgia's lumber and wood sector experienced a 5.7% decrease in employment after companies such as Norcross-based Ply Mart saw sales drop due to slowing demand for home building supplies. Other sectors losing employment include paper and allied products, down 1.3%; chemicals, down 2.9%; rubber and miscellaneous plastics, down 2.2%; fabricated metal products, down 1.9%; and electronics down 2.4%. Transportation equipment was down 3.3%, due largely to layoffs at GM's Doraville assembly plant in preparation of the plant's closing later this year. MNI reports employment remained steady in the primary metals sector, and increases were see in furniture/fixtures, up 1.3% and printing/publishing, up 1.5%.
According to MNI, Northwest Georgia accounts for the most industrial employment in the state, with 329,615 jobs, or 60%, down 2.9% or 9,722 jobs over the past 12 months. Northeast Georgia represents 85,453 of the state's jobs, down 2% or 1,723 jobs. South Central Georgia is home to 56,858 of the state's workers, down 3.7% or 2,167 jobs, while the Southeast accounts for 42,070 manufacturing employees, down 2.8% or 1,172 jobs over the year. Southwest Georgia represents 42,774 of the state's jobs, down 788 or 1.8% over the past twelve months.
MNI's city data shows Atlanta manufacturers employ 62,575 of the state's industrial workers, up 2,495 jobs or 4.2% over the past 12 months. MNI reports Atlanta is among the top 50 manufacturing cities in the nation, ranking 16th in the U.S. for number of industrial jobs and 22nd for number of manufacturers. Dalton ranks second in the state for employment with 34,358 jobs, up 1.2% from a year ago, while Norcross is third in the state with 15,857 industrial workers, down 5.9% over the year. Marietta accounts for 16,999 jobs, up a half percent over the past twelve months, while fifth-ranked Alpharetta saw industrial employment jump 9.4%, and currently is home to 16,835 jobs.