Kentucky manufacturing employment grew 1.5%

By BenefitsPro

By Amanda McGrory-Dixon

In the last year, industrial employment in Kentucky grew 1.5 percent as it added 4,212 jobs from September 2011 to September 2012, according to the 2013 Kentucky Manufacturers Register, an industrial directory published annually by Manufacturers' News Inc. in Evanston, Ill.

Based on this new figure, Kentucky now has 5,200 manufacturers employing 278,299 workers, MNI finds.

"Kentucky continues to see its manufacturing sector improve," says Tom Dubin, president of MNI. "Its business-friendly environment has made it easier for manufacturers to expand, and its stronghold in the auto industry has helped boost employment."

The largest industrial sectors by employment in Kentucky all recorded gains over the year, MNI finds. Transportation equipment manufacturing continues to rank as Kentucky’s top manufacturing sector with 41,751 jobs, a jump of 10.1 percent, followed by food products manufacturing with 33,244 jobs, an increase of 2.2 percent. Industrial machinery and equipment comes in at the No. 3 spot with 30,668 jobs, up 2.9 percent.

Of the other industrial sectors that gained jobs are textiles and apparel at 6.7 percent, electronics at 2.8 percent and fabricated metals at 1 percent, MNI finds. Meanwhile, losses were reported in furniture and fixtures at minus 6.7 percent; stone, clay and glass at minus 2.9 percent; lumber and wood at minus 2.6 percent; paper products at minus 1.3 percent; and printing and publishing at minus 1 percent.

Northeast Kentucky has the state’s most industrial employment with 154,482 jobs, a 2.2 percent increase, while Southwest Kentucky is the second largest area with 45,718 jobs, a 4.5 percent increase, MNI finds. Next is Southeast Kentucky with 43,464 jobs, down 2.8 percent, and Northwest accounts for 34,635 jobs for no significant change.

Louisville continues to reign as Kentucky's top city for manufacturing employment with 51,883 jobs, up 5.1 percent, MNI finds. No. 2 Lexington is home to 20,283 jobs, down 1 percent, and Bowling Green accounts for 10,815 jobs, up 9.9 percent. Fourth-ranked Florence added 9,517 jobs, a decline of 0.5 percent.

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