Michigan created the most net new manufacturing jobs in January, according to the latest state figures from the Bureau of Labor of Statistics. There were 4,900 additional manufacturing workers in Michigan in January, which continues to benefit from strong demand in motor vehicles and parts. Other states with significant employment gains in the sector in January included Georgia (up 3,900), Ohio (up 3,600), North Carolina (up 3,400), Wisconsin (up 2,900) and Kentucky (up 2,800).
Since the end of 2013, Michigan also fared well, adding 24,900 manufacturing employees over the 13-month period from January 2014 to January 2015. Indiana (up 17,800), Texas (up 15,200), North Carolina (up 14,200), Georgia (up 13,700), Ohio (up 13,400) and Wisconsin (up 12,700) also had notable increases in manufacturing employment over that time frame.
Meanwhile, North Dakota (2.8 percent) and Nebraska (2.9 percent) had the lowest unemployment rates in the nation in January. South Dakota (3.4 percent), Utah (3.4 percent), Minnesota (3.7 percent) and Oklahoma (3.9 percent) were not far behind. At the other end of the spectrum, the places with the highest unemployment rates in the country included the District of Columbia (7.7 percent), Mississippi (7.1 percent), Nevada (7.1 percent), Louisiana (7.0 percent) and California (6.9 percent).
February state employment data will be released on March 27.
Chad Moutray is the chief economist, National Association of Manufacturers.