Florida Tops List of States Losing Manufacturers

North Dakota was the only state to gain manufacturers.

Florida lost the most manufacturers (-932); followed by Michigan (-913); California (-819); North Carolina (-710); and Illinois (-699), according to a survey released on Dec. 30 by Manufacturing News. Inc.

North Dakota was the only state to gain manufacturers, up 14 plants or 1.1%.

States that lost the fewest manufacturers included Alaska (-7 ); Hawaii (-15); Nebraska (-15); and Idaho (-29).

Michigan topped the list of states that lost the most industrial employment, with a decline of 79,101 jobs. California was a close second at 78,723 lost jobs. North Carolina's industrial jobs fell 51,831; Indiana 39,451; and Florida 38,278.

States that lost the least number of jobs included Alaska (-31); Hawaii (-754); North Dakota (-1,028) Wyoming (-1,028); and West Virginia (-1,403).

Houston takes the top spot for industrial employment with 228,226 manufacturing jobs, followed by New York with 139,127 jobs, Chicago with 108,692 and Los Angeles with 83,719.

The list shows that five of the top fifty cities are located in California (Los Angeles, San Diego, San Jose, Irvine and Santa Clara), while four of the top fifty are located in Texas (Houston, Dallas, Fort Worth, San Antonio and Austin.)

"Technology has driven down manufacturing employment," says Tom Dubin, President of Manufacturers' News. "Even as demand and production return to pre-recession levels, fewer employees are needed in the manufacturing process because of automation and robotics. Highly skilled workers trained in today's technology will continue to be in great demand, but the days of well paid low-skilled assembly line workers are gone forever."

Cities that registered notable changes since MNI last compiled the list in August 2008 included Detroit, now at 45th place after falling from 29th place; Seattle, which has moved up to 34th place from 46th place in 2008, and St. Louis, which overtook Cincinnati as the nation's fifth-largest city by industrial employment, and is currently home to 83,123 industrial jobs.

Manufacturers' News, Inc., has generated a list of the top U.S. cities by number of manufacturing jobs as of year-end 2010. The full list can be seen here.

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