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Report: Virginia manufacturing jobs down 7.1 percent in 2008-2009

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Industrial employment in Virginia fell 7.1 percent over the past 12 months according to the 2010 Virginia Manufacturers Directory, an industrial directory published annually by the Evanston, Ill.,-based Manufacturers’ News Inc.

MNI reports Virginia lost 26,531 industrial jobs and 377 manufacturers between October 2008 and October 2009.

Virginia is now home to 6,854 manufacturers employing 347,940 workers, compared to a high of 440,261 jobs recorded by MNI in 2001. The loss of 26,000 manufacturing jobs over the past 12 months marks the sharpest year-to-year decline MNI has ever reported in the sixteen years it has been tracking the state’s industry.

“As with the entire nation, the recession continues to hit Virginia’s core sectors, while the faltering housing market has affected industries such as wood products, furniture and building products,” said MNI president Tom Dubin.

Transportation equipment manufacturing saw one of the largest drops in employment, down nearly 11 percet, according to MNI, due partially to layoffs at Volvo Trucks, International Automotive Components, and the closure of a JTEKT automotive plant. As a result, food products manufacturing has overtaken transportation equipment as the state’s largest industrial sector, with 36,486 jobs, down 2.6 percent over the year. Transportation equipment now ranks second with 34,689 jobs.

All other industrial sectors in Virginia lost jobs within the past year and included primary metals, down 22.5 percent; due partially to the closure of a Reynolds Wrap plant in Richmond. Industrial machinery and equipment fell 17.9 percent; lumber/wood was down 15.3 percent; textiles/apparel down 11.2 percent; furniture/fixtures down 8.7 percent; paper products down 8.4 percent; fabricated metals down 6.8 percent; electronics down 6.5 percent; stone/clay/glass down 6.2 percent; rubber/plastics down 5.7 percent and chemicals down 5.1 percent.

Bright spots for the state include the opening of a First Fruits Beverage bottling facility in Marion, the joint investment of AREVA and shipbuilder Northrop Grumman to open a facility in Newport News, and the opening of auto components maker Westport Corp. in Roanoke.

MNI’s city data shows Richmond is Virginia’s top city for manufacturing employment, home to 35,008 jobs, down 5.9 percent over the year. Second-ranked Newport News accounts for 26,183 jobs, with employment down 2.6 percent. Industrial employment in Norfolk dropped 2.7 percent over the year and is currently home to 11,790 industrial workers. Roanoke accounts for 11,694 industrial jobs, down 7.1 percent over the year while Lynchburg accounts for 10,900 jobs, down 5.4 percent.

Detailed profiles of Virginia’s 6,854 manufacturers and 1,227 industrial distributors can be found in the 2010 Virginia Manufacturers Directory, available in print for $112 and on CD-ROM from $188. Each profile provides up to 30 facts, including vital contact information (phone, web, e-mail), 24,219 executives by name and title, product(s) manufactured, annual sales, number of employees, and more. Visitors to may generate custom profiles of manufacturers using thirteen different criteria, including area or zip code, county, SIC, sales volume, number of employees, and more.

Manufacturers’ News Inc., publisher of manufacturers’ directories since 1912, compiles and produces manufacturing guides, statistics and databases for all 50 states. MNI also maintains, an industrial search engine designed specifically for locating manufacturers and suppliers nationwide. For more information, contact Manufacturers’ News, Inc., 1633 Central St., Evanston, IL, 60201, 847.864.7000, FAX 847.332.1100.


augusta free press
augusta free press