Thursday, June 11, 2009

Georgia Industrial Employment Declines Nearly 9% According to Manufacturers Directory

/PRNewswire/ -- Industrial employment in Georgia fell 8.8% over the past twelve months according to the 2010 Georgia Manufacturers Register, an industrial directory published annually by Manufacturers' News, Inc. (MNI) Evanston, IL. MNI reports Georgia lost 48,904 industrial jobs and 515 manufacturers between April 2008 and April 2009, the sharpest decline MNI has ever reported for the state.

According to earlier reports by MNI, Georgia suffered a 2.2% loss in manufacturing employment between 2006 and 2007, and a loss of 2.3% between 2007 and 2008.

Manufacturers' News reports Georgia is home to 10,893 manufacturers employing 507,866 workers.

"As with the entire nation, the recession continues to chip away at Georgia's core sectors. The faltering housing market has affected industries such as wood, furniture and building products, and has worsened an already suffering textile industry," says Tom Dubin, President of the Evanston, IL-based publishing company, which has been surveying industry since 1912.

Employment in the textiles/apparel sector saw the worst drop in employment, down 16.2%, or 13,219, and currently accounts for 68,562 industrial jobs. The loss is more than double what MNI had reported in previous years, with a 6% drop in textile employment recorded over the 2006-2007 survey period and a 7% percent decline over the 2007-2008 period. Textile/apparel companies shutting down include carpet manufacturer Shaw Industries, a Springs Global towel manufacturer in Griffin, and American Fibers and Yarns, which shuttered its plant in Bainbridge last year.

MNI reports food products manufacturing has replaced textiles/apparel as the state's top industrial sector, currently accounting for 69,560 of the state's jobs, down 2.7% or 1,903 jobs. Third-ranked industrial machinery and equipment accounts for 45,680 jobs, down 5.1% over the year, with employment expected to strengthen with the recently-announced relocation of ATM manufacturer NCR to Columbus.

Job losses were seen across all other sectors over the past twelve months and included rubber/plastics down 18.4%; printing/publishing down 16.8%; lumber/wood down 11.9%; stone/clay/glass down 9.6%; furniture/fixtures down 9.2%; fabricated metals down 7.2%; paper products down 6.4%; transportation equipment down 5.8%; electronics down 5.4%; and primary metals down 2.5%.

Manufacturers' News reports Northwest Georgia accounts for a majority of the state's decline, losing 10.6% of its manufacturing employment or 34,948 jobs. The region is currently home to 294,667 industrial workers. South Central Georgia lost 4,788 jobs over the year or 8.4% and currently accounts for 52,070 industrial jobs.

Southwest Georgia is currently home to 39,804 industrial jobs, down 6.9% over the past twelve months, while Northeast Georgia saw industrial employment decline 5.2% and accounts for 81,036 jobs.

Southeast Georgia lost the fewest jobs, down 4.2% or 1,780 jobs, and is currently home to 40,290 industrial workers.

MNI's city data shows Atlanta is the state's top city for manufacturing employment, home to 55,861 jobs, with employment down 11% over the year. MNI reports Atlanta ranks 18th among the nation's cities for number of manufacturing jobs and ranks 22nd nationally for number of manufacturers.

Second-ranked Dalton accounts for 25,446 jobs, with employment down 3.5% over the past twelve months. Alpharetta saw no significant change in manufacturing employment and currently accounts for 16,826 jobs, while Marietta is home to 16,580 jobs, down 2.5% over the year. Fifth-ranked Norcross is home to 14,388 jobs, down 9.3%, according to MNI.

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