The Bureau of Labor Statistics released regional and state employment numbers for October. The state with the most net new manufacturing jobs was Wisconsin, adding 6,000 workers in October. Looking at net job creation in the sector since the recession, Wisconsin comes in fifth place with 39,000 jobs added since December 2009. Much of this growth has stemmed from increased durable goods production, with year-to-date durable goods jobs growth of 6,000, or roughly 69 percent of the 8,700 total manufacturing hires through October.
Beyond Wisconsin, the other top five states with manufacturing employment gains in October were Minnesota (up 3,900), Georgia (up 3,900), Indiana (up 3,600), and Illinois (up 3,500). On a year-to-date basis (through October), the fastest manufacturing job growth has been in Michigan (up 12,900), Wisconsin (up 8,700), Texas (up 4,500), Oregon (up 3,600), and North Carolina (up 3,500). Since the recession, the biggest gains were in Michigan (up 98,700), Texas (up 61,700), Indiana (up 49,700), Ohio (up 48,800), and Wisconsin (up 39,000).
Nationally, Nevada still has the highest unemployment rate at 9.3 percent, with Rhode Island (9.2 percent) and Michigan (9.0 percent) close behind. The lowest unemployment rate continues to be in North Dakota with 2.7 percent, with South Dakota’s 3.7 percent and Nebraska’s 3.9 percent also well below the national average.
Chad Moutray is the chief economist, National Association of Manufacturers.