Policy Analysis | June 2011

Manufacturing Jobs in the South

Sujit CanagaRetna

As reported by The Business Journals, in the past decade, the number of manufacturing jobs in the United States has seen a decline in every state except Alaska. The Southern region was no exception to this downward trend, shedding a total of 1,745,300 manufacturing jobs between April 2001 and April 2011. As the nation slowly recovers from the Great Recession, SLC member states are seeing a small uptick in the number of manufacturing jobs within their jurisdictions. However, these gains still are relatively miniscule when observing the decline of manufacturing jobs in of the past decade.

In the Southern region, North Carolina saw the greatest decline in manufacturing jobs in the past decade, while West Virginia lost the fewest jobs. Between April 2010 and April 2011, Texas came ahead with the most manufacturing jobs gained, whereas Mississippi continued to see a loss of manufacturing jobs with a decline of 3,400 jobs.

Manufacturing Jobs in the SLC Member States, April 2001 - April 2011 (preliminary figures)
State April 2001 April 2010 April 2011 Change, 2001-2011 Change, 2010-2011
Alabama 330,100 236,600 237,100 -93,000 500
Arkansas 230,200 159,600 157,800 -72,400 -1,800
Florida 462,100 307,200 307,200 -154,900 0
Georgia 515,400 342,600 348,500 -166,900 5,900
Kentucky 296,300 207,900 213,500 -82,800 5,600
Louisiana 173,500 138,300 140,300 -33,200 2,000
Mississippi 204,900 137,100 133,700 -71,200 -3,400
Missouri 353,300 241,000 249,200 -104,100 8,200
North Carolina 721,300 428,700 434,500 -286,800 5,800
Oklahoma 172,100 122,000 131,000 -41,100 9,000
South Carolina 321,000 206,600 212,700 -108,300 6,100
Tennessee 463,000 297,900 297,900 -165,100 0
Texas 1,043,200 804,700 816,100 -227,100 11,400
Virginia 345,200 230,100 230,600 -114,600 500
West Virginia 73,200 48,800 49,400 -23,800 600
SCL Total 5,704,800 3,909,100 3,959,500 -1,745,300 50,400

Sources: The Business Journals; Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor