Over the past eight years, the manufacturing industry has bounced back strongly from its cavernous low during the Great Recession, gaining 1.1 million jobs, according the Institute for Supply Management.
Cities and regions across the U.S. are benefiting from the sector’s continuous growth, ranging from the industrial Midwest to the Sun Belt—even to California. Where do all these locations rank in terms of job growth?
Forbes recently ranked major metro areas based on manufacturing employment data from the Bureau of Labor statistics, and it spans beyond the heartland hubs you might expect.
Are you surprised by any of the top-ranked large cities where manufacturing is growing?
- San Diego-Carlsbad, CA. Job growth in 2017: 1.9%. Job growth from 2012-2017: 11.1%.
- Las Vegas-Henderson-Paradise, NV. Job growth in 2017: 3.5%. Job growth from 2012-2017: 14.5%.
- Louisville, KY. Job growth in 2017: 0.3%. Job growth from 2012-2017: 14%.
- Albany, NY. Job growth in 2017: 1.9%. Job growth from 2012-2017: 14.2%. Technology sectors are driving manufacturing growth in New York. Nanotech heavy-hitter GLOBALFOUNDRIES alone employs more than 3,000 people at its Fab 8 chip plant. Cleantech is also a driver—New York ranks second for cleantech patents and first for wind patents in the U.S.
- Warren-Troy-Farmington Hills, MI. Job growth in 2017: 1.1%. Job growth from 2012-2017: 18.5%. This area, known as “automation alley” is expected to be one to watch as more electric vehicles hit the streets.
- West Palm Beach, FL. Job growth in 2017: 1.5%. Job growth from 2012-2017: 27.3%.
- Miami, FL. Job growth in 2017: 6.1%. Job growth from 2012-2017: 22.6%. Florida is well positioned due to its lack of income taxes, reasonable housing prices, and generally pro-development policies.
- Grand Rapids, WY. Job growth in 2017: 2.1%. Job growth from 2012-2017: 20.5%. The Grand Rapids area boasts a vast array of 2,500 manufacturing companies in diverse industries, including metals, plastics, biopharmaceuticals, medical devices, production technology, automotive, and food processing. Four out of five of these companies have fewer than 250 employees. Large operations in the area include General Motors, Amway, Cargill, Kellogg’s and Bissell.
- Oakland-Hayward-Berkeley, CA. Job growth in 2017: 5.8%. Job growth from 2012-2017: 22.2%. The tech sector remains on a steady growth clip, fueling a manufacturing surge in the area.
- Orlando, FL. Job growth in 2017: 7.9%. Job growth from 2012-2017: 23.6%. Large companies including Lockheed Martin, Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems Americas, and Siemens Energy have brought advanced manufacturing jobs to the Orlando area.
Small cities have also made noteworthy gains in manufacturing job growth. Small-town Reno, NV may not be able to go toe-to-toe with Las Vegas when it comes to gambling, but it won the jackpot landing Tesla’s battery plant. Last year, Reno’s manufacturing job base expanded a whopping 30.2%--the fastest growth in any metro area in the nation.
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